Mung bean [Vigna radiata (L.) Wilczek] is an important short-duration grain legume widely known for its nutritional, soil ameliorative, and cropping system intensification properties. This study aims at evaluating genetic diversity among mung bean genotypes and detecting genomic regions associated with various yield attributing traits and yellow mosaic disease (YMD) resistance by association mapping. A panel of 80 cultivars and advanced breeding lines was evaluated for 10 yield-related and YMD resistance traits during kharif (monsoon) and summer seasons of 2018–2019 and 2019–2020. A total of 164 genome-wide simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were initially screened, out of which 89 were found polymorphic which generated 317 polymorphic alleles with an average of 3.56 alleles per SSR locus. The number of alleles at each locus varied from 2 to 7. The population genetic structure analysis grouped different genotypes in three major clusters and three genetically distinct subpopulations (SPs) (i.e., SP-1, SP-2, and SP-3) with one admixture subpopulation (SP-4). Both cluster and population genetic structure analysis categorized the advanced mung bean genotypes in a single group/SP and the released varieties in other groups/SPs, suggesting that the studied genotypes may have common ancestral history at some level. The population genetic structure was also in agreement with the genetic diversity analysis. The estimate of the average degree of linkage disequilibrium (LD) present at the genome level in 80 mung bean genotypes unveiled significant LD blocks. Over the four seasons, 10 marker-trait associations were observed significant for YMD and four seed yield (SY)-related traits viz., days to flowering, days to maturity, plant height, and number of pods per plant using the mixed linear model (MLM) method. These associations may be useful for marker-assisted mung bean yield improvement programs and YMD resistance.
Rosa rugosa Thunb. has been explored multi-function in medicinal, edible, cosmetic, ornamental and ecological etc. However, R. rugosa natural populations have recently declined substantially in China, besides of global climate change, this species also has the defect of limiting the reproduction of itself such as the hard-to-release seed dormancy. In this study, only 30% of R. rugosa seeds were viable, and the others were incompletely developed or diseased seeds. Without stratification, morphologically complete viable seeds imbibed water but those seeds could not germinate even after seed husk removal under suitable condition to exhibit a physiological dormancy. After cold (4°C) and warm (18 ± 2°C) stratification, macromolecular substances containing carbon or nitrogen accumulated, and respiration, antioxidant enzyme activity, and gibberellin (GA3) /abscisic acid (ABA) and auxin (IAA)/ABA ratios increased significantly in seeds. Water absorption also increased as endocarps softened. Thus, physiological dormancy of seed was broken. Although warm and cold stratification increased separation between endocarp and embryo, the endocarp binding force was removed insufficiently, because only 10.20% of seeds germinated. Therefore, stratified seeds were treated with simulated bird digestion. Then, folds and cracks in loosened endocarps increased permeability, and water absorption rate increased to 64.43% compare to 21.14% in cold and warm stratification treatment. With simulated digestion, 24.20% of radicles broke through the endocarp with plumules and cambiums to develop into seedlings. Thus, the seed dormancy type of R. rugosa is physiological as seeds imbibed water and possessed fully developed embryos with a low growth potential in combination with a mechanical constraint from the endocarp. Cold stratification helped remove physiological dormancy, and additional warm stratification accelerated the process. The optimal stratification treatment was 4°C for 45 days followed by 18 ± 2°C for 15 days. After warm and cold stratification, simulated bird digestion broke the mechanical constraint from the seed covering layers. Based on this research, production of R. rugosa seedlings can be greatly increased to help protect the species from further declines.
Artemisia argyi is a valuable traditional medicinal plant in Asia. The essential oil from its leaves is rich in terpenoids and has been used to enhance health and well-being. In China, the market scale of industries related to A. argyi has attained tens of billions of Chinese Yuan. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family is one of the largest transcription factors families in plants that plays crucial roles in diverse biological processes and is an essential regulatory component of terpenoid biosynthesis. However, the bHLH TFs and their regulatory roles in A. argyi remain unknown. Here, 53 AarbHLH genes were identified from the transcriptome of A. argyi and were classified into 15 subfamilies based on the classification of bHLH proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. The MEME analysis showed that the conserved motif 1 and motif 2 constituted the most conserved bHLH domain and distributed in most AarbHLH proteins. Additionally, integrated analysis of the expression profiles of AarbHLH genes and the contents of targeted terpenoids in different tissues group and JA-treated group were performed. Eleven up-regulated AarbHLHs and one down-regulated AarbHLH were screened as candidate genes that may participate in the regulation of terpenoid biosynthesis (TPS-AarbHLHs). Correlation analysis between gene expression and terpenoid contents indicated that the gene expression of these 12 TPS-AarbHLHs was significantly correlated with the content changes of 1,8-cineole or β-caryophyllene. Protein–protein interaction networks further illustrated that these TPS-AarbHLHs might be involved in terpenoid biosynthesis in A. argyi. This finding provides a basis to further investigate the regulation mechanism of AarbHLH genes in terpenoid biosynthesis, and will be helpful to improve the quality of A. argyi.
Crop wild species are increasingly important for crop improvement. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) wild relatives comprise a diverse genetic pool that is being used to broaden its narrow genetic base. Peanut is an allotetraploid species extremely susceptible to peanut root-knot nematode (PRKN) Meloidogyne arenaria. Current resistant cultivars rely on a single introgression for PRKN resistance incorporated from the wild relative Arachis cardenasii, which could be overcome as a result of the emergence of virulent nematode populations. Therefore, new sources of resistance may be needed. Near-immunity has been found in the peanut wild relative Arachis stenosperma. The two loci controlling the resistance, present on chromosomes A02 and A09, have been validated in tetraploid lines and have been shown to reduce nematode reproduction by up to 98%. To incorporate these new resistance QTL into cultivated peanut, we used a marker-assisted backcrossing approach, using PRKN A. stenosperma-derived resistant lines as donor parents. Four cycles of backcrossing were completed, and SNP assays linked to the QTL were used for foreground selection. In each backcross generation seed weight, length, and width were measured, and based on a statistical analysis we observed that only one generation of backcrossing was required to recover the elite peanut’s seed size. A populating of 271 BC3F1 lines was genome-wide genotyped to characterize the introgressions across the genome. Phenotypic information for leaf spot incidence and domestication traits (seed size, fertility, plant architecture, and flower color) were recorded. Correlations between the wild introgressions in different chromosomes and the phenotypic data allowed us to identify candidate regions controlling these domestication traits. Finally, PRKN resistance was validated in BC3F3 lines. We observed that the QTL in A02 and/or large introgression in A09 are needed for resistance. This present work represents an important step toward the development of new high-yielding and nematode-resistant peanut cultivars.
Leaf shape is an important leaf trait, with ovate leaves common in many floras. Recently, a new leaf shape model (referred to as the MLRF equation) derived from temperature-dependent bacterial growth was proposed and demonstrated to be valid in describing leaf boundaries of many species with ovate leaf shape. The MLRF model’s parameters can provide valuable information of leaf shape, including the ratio of lamina width to length and the lamina centroid location on the lamina length axis. However, the model wasn’t tested on a large sample of a single species, thereby limiting its overall evaluation for describing leaf boundaries, for evaluating lamina bilateral asymmetry and for calculating lamina centroid location. In this study, we further test the model using data from two Lauraceae species, Cinnamomum camphora and Machilus leptophylla, with >290 leaves for each species. The equation was found to be credible for describing those shapes, with all adjusted root-mean-square errors (RMSE) smaller than 0.05, indicating that the mean absolute deviation is smaller than 5% of the radius of an assumed circle whose area equals lamina area. It was also found that the larger the extent of lamina asymmetry, the larger the adjusted RMSE, with approximately 50% of unexplained variation by the model accounted for by the lamina asymmetry, implying that this model can help to quantify the leaf bilateral asymmetry in future studies. In addition, there was a significant difference between the two species in their centroid ratio, i.e., the distance from leaf petiole to the point on the lamina length axis associated with leaf maximum width to the leaf maximum length. It was found that a higher centroid ratio does not necessarily lead to a greater investment of mass to leaf petiole relative to lamina, which might depend on the petiole pattern.
Glucosinolates (GSLs) are important secondary metabolites that play important defensive roles in cruciferous plants. Chinese flowering cabbage, one of the most common vegetable crops, is rich in GSLs and thus has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer in humans. Many genes that are involved in GSL biosynthesis and metabolism have been identified in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana; however, few studies investigated the genes related to GSL biosynthesis and metabolism in Chinese flowering cabbage. In the present study, the GSL composition and content in three different organs of Chinese flowering cabbage (leaf, stalk, and flower bud) were determined. Our results showed that the total GSL content in flower buds was significantly higher than in stalks and leaves, and aliphatic GSLs were the most abundant GSL type. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the variations of GSL content, we analyzed the expression of genes encoding enzymes involved in GSL biosynthesis and transport in different tissues of Chinese flowering cabbage using RNA sequencing; the expression levels of most genes were found to be consistent with the pattern of total GSL content. Correlation and consistency analysis of differentially expressed genes from different organs with the GSL content revealed that seven genes (Bra029966, Bra012640, Bra016787, Bra011761, Bra006830, Bra011759, and Bra029248) were positively correlated with GSL content. These findings provide a molecular basis for further elucidating GSL biosynthesis and transport in Chinese flowering cabbage.
Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are important phenolic compounds and PA biosynthesis is regulated by a ternary MBW complex consisting of a R2R3-MYB regulator, a bHLH factor and a WDR protein. In this study, a tobacco R2R3-MYB factor NtMYB330 was characterized as the PA-specific regulator in which the PA biosynthesis was promoted in the flowers of NtMYB330-overexpressing lines while decreased in the flowers of ntmyb330 mutants. NtMYB330 can interact with flavonoid-related bHLH partner NtAn1b and WDR protein NtAn11-1, and the NtMYB330-NtAn1b complex is required to achieve strong transcriptional activation of the PA-related structural genes NtDFR1, NtANS1, NtLAR1 and NtANR1. Our data reveal that NtMYB330 regulates PA biosynthesis in seeds and affects seed germination, in which NtMYB330-overexpressing lines showed higher PA accumulations in seed coats and inhibited germination, while ntmyb330 mutants had reduced seed coat PAs and improved germination. NtMYB330 affects seed germination possibly through two mechanisms: modulating seed coat PAs to affect coat-imposed dormancy. In addition, NtMYB330 regulates the expressions of abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin acid (GA) signaling-related genes, affecting ABA-GA crosstalk and seed germination. This study reveals that NtMYB330 specifically regulates PA biosynthesis via formation of the MBW complex in tobacco flowers and affects germination through adjustment of PA concentrations and ABA/GA signaling in tobacco seeds.
Transposable elements (TEs) are an important source of genetic diversity and can be co-opted for the regulation of host genes. However, to what extent the pervasive TE colonization of plant genomes has contributed to stress adaptation remains controversial. Plants inhabiting harsh environments in nature provide a unique opportunity to answer this question. We compared TE compositions and their evolutionary dynamics in the genomes of two mangrove species: the pioneer Sonneratia alba and its less salt-tolerant relative S. caseolaris. Age distribution, strength of purifying selection and the removal rate of LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposons were estimated. Phylogenetic analysis of LTR retrotransposons and their distribution in the genome of S. alba were surveyed. Small RNA sequencing and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing was conducted using leaves of S. alba. Expression pattern of LTR retrotransposons and their nearby genes were examined using RNA-seq data of S. alba under different salt treatments. S. alba possesses more TEs than S. caseolaris. Particularly, many more young Gypsy LTR retrotransposons have accumulated in S. alba than in S. caseolaris despite an increase in purifying selection against TE insertions. The top two most abundant Gypsy families in S. alba preferentially insert in gene-poor regions. They are under relaxed epigenetic repression, probably due to the presence of CHROMO domains in their 3′-ends. Although a considerable number of TEs in S. alba showed differential expression under salt stress, only four copies were significantly correlated with their nearby genes in expression levels. One such TE-gene pair involves Abscisic acid 8'-hydroxylase 3 functioning in abscisic acid catabolism. This study sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics and potential function of TEs in an extremophile. Our results suggest that the conclusion on co-option of TEs should be cautious even though activation of TEs by stress might be prevalent.
The caleosin (CLO) protein family displays calcium-binding properties and plays an important role in the abiotic stress response. Here, a total of 107 CLO genes were identified in 15 plant species, while no CLO genes were detected in two green algal species. Evolutionary analysis revealed that the CLO gene family may have evolved mainly in terrestrial plants and that biological functional differentiation between species and functional expansion within species have occurred. Of these, 56 CLO genes were identified in four cotton species. Collinearity analysis showed that CLO gene family expansion mainly occurred through segmental duplication and whole-genome duplication in cotton. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis showed that the CLO proteins of the four cotton species were mainly divided into two types: H-caleosins (class I) and L-caleosins (class II). Cis-acting element analysis and quantitative RT–PCR (qRT–PCR) suggested that GhCLOs might be regulated by abscisic acid (ABA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Moreover, transcriptome data and qRT–PCR results revealed that GhCLO genes responded to salt and drought stresses. Under salt stress, gene-silenced plants (TRV: GhCLO06) showed obvious yellowing and wilting, higher malondialdehyde (MDA) content accumulation, and significantly lower activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD), indicating that GhCLO06 plays a positive regulatory role in cotton salt tolerance. In gene-silenced plants (TRV: GhCLO06), ABA-related genes (GhABF2, GhABI5, and GhNAC4) were significantly upregulated after salt stress, suggesting that the regulation of salt tolerance may be related to the ABA signaling pathway. This research provides an important reference for further understanding and analyzing the molecular regulatory mechanism of CLOs for salt tolerance.
Ignoring the responses of local households to ecological protection policies can not only seriously limit sustainable development of the alpine grassland ecosystem, but also not improve livelihood on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). It is of vital importance to clearly understand coupling feedback and trigger between household decision-making of local herdsmen with the implementation of ecological protection policies. We selected Sanjiangyuan National Park (SNP) as the study area which was in the hinterland of the QTP and the first national park in China. We used the global rangeland (G-Range) model to simulate alpine grassland changes and DEcisions under Conditions of Uncertainty by Modeled Agents (DECUMA) model to identify household decision-making of local herdsmen. Results showed that: (1) distribution of livestock density was basically consistent with the distribution of habitat suitability of local households in the SNP; (2) more than half of the uneducated households (52 and 70%) opposed the eco-compensation and eco-migration policies; (3) most of the households (53.7%) never traded livestock for maintaining their livelihood; and (4) When local households owed 65,000 yuan (≈10,000 dollars) in debts, as the critical value (trigger), they traded livestock to support their livelihood. We suggest that feedback and trigger of household decision-making should be fully considered by managers of national park and policymakers of local governments in planning ecological protection policies to maintain sustainable development of alpine grassland, which is of practical significance to long-term conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources in the SNP.