Gene discovery and expression analysis in sugarcane leaf and culm

Carson, Deborah L. (Deborah Lee) (2002-12)

Dissertation (PhD) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) is a commercial crop plant capable of storing up to 20% sucrose on a fresh mass basis in the culm. Knowledge about gene expression during sugarcane growth and maturation is limited. The aim of this study was to assess whether an Expressed Sequence Tag (EST)-based approach towards analysis of sugarcane would reveal new information about gene expression and metabolic processes associated with sugarcane growth and development. The specific objectives were two-fold: firstly, to develop an EST database for sugarcane and secondly, to identify and analyse genes that are expressed in different sugarcane tissue types and developmental stages, with a specific focus on leaf and culm. An EST database for sugarcane was initiated to obtain information on sugarcane gene sequences. A total cDNA library was constructed from sugarcane immature leaf (leaf roll: meristematic region) tissue and 250 clones randomly selected and subjected to single-pass DNA sequence analysis. Sugarcane ESTs were identified by sequence similarity searches against gene sequences in international databases. Of the 250 leaf roll clones, 26% exhibited similarity to known plant genes, 50% to non-plant genes while 24% represented new gene sequences. Analysis of the identified clones indicated sequence similarity to a broad diversity of genes. A significant proportion of genes identified in the leaf roll were involved in processes related to protein synthesis and protein modification, as would be expected in meristematic tissues. Submission of 495 sugarcane gene sequences to the dbEST database represented the first sugarcane ESTs released into the public domain. Two subtracted cDNA libraries were constructed by reciprocal subtractive hybridisation between sugarcane immature and maturing internodal tissue. To explore gene expression during sugarcane culm maturation, partial sequence analysis of random clones from maturing culm total and subtracted cDNA libraries was performed. Database comparisons revealed that of the 337 cDNA sequences analysed, 167 showed sequence homology to gene products in the protein databases while 111 matched uncharacterised plant ESTs only. The remaining cDNAs showed no database match and could represent novel genes. The majority of ESTs corresponded to a variety of genes associated with general cellular metabolism. ESTs homologous to various stress response genes were also well represented. Analysis of ESTs from the subtracted library identified genes that may be preferentially expressed during culm maturation. The expression patterns of sugarcane genes were examined in different tissue sources and developmental stages to identify differentially expressed genes. cDNA arrays containing 1000 random clones from immature leaf and maturing culm cDNA libraries were hybridised with poly (At RNA from immature leaf, mature leaf, immature culm and maturing culm. All cDNAs examined hybridised to all four probes, but differences in signal intensity were observed for individual cDNAs between hybridisation events. No cDNAs displaying tissue- or developmental-stage specific expression were detected. Comparisons between hybridisation patterns identified 61 cDNAs that were more abundantly expressed in immature and mature leaf than the culm. Likewise, 25 cDNAs preferentially expressed in immature and maturing culm were detected. ESTs established for the differentially expressed cDNAs revealed sequence homology to a diverse collection of genes in both the leaf and the culm. These included genes associated with general cellular metabolism, transport, regulation and a variety of stress responses. None of the differentially expressed genes identified in the culm were homologous to genes known to be associated with sucrose accumulation. To examme differences at the level of gene transcription between low sucroseaccumulating and high sucrose-accumulating tissues, subtracted cDNA libraries were utilised. To isolate cDNAs differentially expressed during culm maturation, cDNA arrays containing 400 random clones (200 from each library) were screened with total cDNA probes prepared from immature and maturing culm poly (At RNA. Results indicated that 36% and 30% of the total number of cDNAs analysed were preferentially expressed in the immature and maturing culm, respectively. Northern analysis of selected clones confirmed culm developmental stage-preferential expression for most of the clones tested. ESTs generated for the 132 differentially expressed clones isolated exhibited homology to genes associated with cell wall metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, stress responses and regulation, where the specific ESTs identified in the immature and maturing culm were distinct from each other. No developmentally regulated ESTs directly associated with sucrose metabolism were detected. These results suggest that growth and maturation of the sugarcane culm is associated with the expression of genes for a wide variety of metabolic processes. In addition, genes encoding enzymes directly involved with sucrose accumulation do not appear to be abundantly expressed in the culm.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kommersiële suikerriet variëteite (Saccharum spp. hibriede) is in staat om tot 20% sukrose op 'n vars massa basis in die stingel op te berg. Kennis oor geenuitdrukking tydens groei en rypwording is beperk. Die doel van die huidige studie was om vas te stelof 'n grootskaalse karatersisering van die geenvolgordes wat uitgedruk word "Expressed Sequence Tag (EST)-based approach" tot nuwe inligting aangaande die aard en omvang van metabolisme tydens groei en ontwikkeling van suikerriet sal lei. 'n Tweeledige benadering is in hierdie studie gevolg. Eerstens is 'n data basis oor die gene wat uitgedruk word "EST" databasis opgestel. Tweedens is gene geïdentifiseer en gekarakteriseer wat spesifiek op verskillende stadiums van ontwikkeling en in spesifiek weefsel uitgedruk word. Vir die opstel van die EST-databasis is 250 klone uit 'n totale cDNA biblioteek vanaf RNA uit suikerrietblaarweefsel (blaarrol:meristematiese streek) op 'n lukraak basis gekies en aan 'n enkel eenrigting DNA volgorde analise onderwerp. Suikerrriet EST's is geïdentifiseer deur middel van homologie soektogte teen geenvolgordes in internasionale databasisse. Uit die 250 blaarrol klone het 26% ooreenkomste met bekende plant gene en, 50% met nie-plant gene getoon. Ongeveer 24% het nuwe geenvolgordes verteenwoordig. Analise van die geïdentifeseerde klone het ooreenkomste met 'n breë diversiteit van gene getoon. 'n Betekenisvolle gedeelte van gene wat in die blaarrol geïdentifiseer is, is by proteïensintese en proteïenmodifikasies betrokke. Dit is in ooreenstemming met wat van meristematiese weefsel verwag kan word. Die 495 suikerriet geenvolgordes wat in die internasionale dbEST databasis gestort is, is die eerste sodanige inligting in die publieke domein. Twee spesifieke cDNA biblioteke (subtraction libraries) wat volgordes spesifiek aan onvolwasse suikerriet en rypwordende internodale weefsel bevat is voorberei. Geenuitdrukking gedurende die rypwordingsproses van die suikerrietstingel is bestudeer deur geenvolgorde analises van onwillekeurige geselekteerde klone van die twee eDNA biblioteke te doen. Van die 337 geenvolgordes wat geanaliseer is het 167 homologie met bekende gene en net 111ooreenkomste met ongekarakteriseerde plant gene getoon. Die oorblywende geenvolgordes het geen ooreenkomste met bekende gene getoon nie en daar kan dus aanvaar word dat hulle nuwe gene verteenwoordig. Die meerderheid ESTs het ooreenkomste met verskeie gene wat met sellulêre metabolisme geassosieer word getoon. ESTs wat homoloog was aan verskeie spannings geassosieerde gene was ook goed verteenwoordig. Die analise het gene wat by voorkeur tydens stringelrypwording uitgedruk word geidentifiseer. Die geenuitdrukkingspatrone van suikerriet in weefsels van verskillende oorsprong en ontwikkelingstadia is ondersoek om differensieel uitgedrukte gene te identifiseer. Reekse wat 1000 lukrake eDNA klone van onvolwasse en rypwordende stingel eDNA biblioteke is met poli-(A)-RNA van onvolwasse blaar, volwasse blaar, onvolwasse stingel en volwasse stingel gehibridiseer. Al die eDNA klone wat ondersoek is het met al vier die peilers gehibridiseer. Die intensiteit van die seine het egter grootliks gevarieer. Die analise het gelei tot die identifisering van 61 eDNA klone wat teen hoër vlakke in onvolwasse en volwasse blaar as in die stingel uitgedruk word. Daar is ook 25 eDNA klone wat by voorkeur in onvolwasse en rypwordende stingel uitgedruk word gevind. Gene wat geassosieer word met gewone sel metabolisme, vervoer prosesse, regulering en verskeie spannings-geassosieerde reaksies, is in die twee groepe teenwoordig. Geeneen van die volgordes wat selektief uitgedruk word kan met gene wat direk met sukrose akkumulering verband hou geassosieer word nie. Ten einde eDNA klone wat differensieel tydens rypwording van die stingel uitgedruk word te isoleer, is 400 eDNA klone (200 van elke biblioteek) lukraak geselekteer en met totale eDNA peilers, wat uit onvolwasse en rypwordende stingel poli-(A)-RNA voorberei is, gesif. Resultate het aangetoon dat 36% en 30% van die totale getal eDNA klonewat geanaliseer is, by voorkeur in die onvolwasse en rypwordende stingel uitgedruk word. RNA kladanalises van geselekteerde klone het getoon dat die meeste ontwikkelingstadium spesifieke uirtdrukkingspatrone het. Daar is gevind dat 132 van die EST klone homologie met gene geassosieerd met selwand- en koolhidraatmetabolisme, spannings geassosieerde- en reguleringsreaksies, toon. Die spesifieke ESTs wat in die onvolwasse en rypwordende stingel geïdentifiseer is het van mekaar verskil. Nie een van die ESTs wat geïdentifiseer is kan direk met sukrose metabolisme geassosieer word nie. Hierdie werk toon baie duidelik aan dat groei en rypwording van die suikerrietstingel met die uitdrukking van gene geassosieerd is wat by 'n hele aantal metaboliese prosesse betrokke is. Die resultate toon ook dat die gene wat vir ensieme kodeer wat direk by sukrose akkumulering betrokke is, nie teen hoë vlakke in die stingel uitgedruk word nie.

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