Abstract Asian soybean rust (ASR) is one of the most destructive diseases affecting soybeans. The causative agent of ASR, the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, presents characteristics that make it difficult to study in vitro, limiting our knowledge of plant-pathogen dynamics. Therefore, this work used leaf lesion laser microdissection associated with deep sequencing to determine the pathogen transcriptome during compatible and incompatible interactions with soybean. The 36,350 generated unisequences provided an overview of the main genes and biological pathways that were active in the fungus during the infection cycle. We also identified the most expressed transcripts, including sequences similar to other fungal virulence and signaling proteins. Enriched P. pachyrhizi transcripts in the resistant (PI561356) soybean genotype were related to extracellular matrix organization and metabolic signaling pathways and, among infection structures, in amino acid metabolism and intracellular transport. Unisequences were further grouped into gene families along predicted sequences from 15 other fungi and oomycetes, including rust fungi, allowing the identification of conserved multigenic families, as well as being specific to P. pachyrhizi. The results revealed important biological processes observed in P. pachyrhizi, contributing with information related to fungal biology and, consequently, a better understanding of ASR.
The phytopathogenic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa (Stahel) Aime & Philips-Mora, causal agent of witches' broom disease of cocoa, causes countless damage to cocoa production in Brazil. Molecular studies have attempted to identify genes that play important roles in fungal survival and virulence. In this study, sequences deposited in the M. perniciosa Genome Sequencing Project database were analyzed to identify potential biological targets. For the first time, the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway in M. perniciosa was studied and the lanosterol 14α-demethylase gene (ERG11) that encodes the main enzyme of this pathway and is a target for fungicides was cloned, characterized molecularly and its phylogeny analyzed. ERG11 genomic DNA and cDNA were characterized and sequence analysis of the ERG11 protein identified highly conserved domains typical of this enzyme, such as SRS1, SRS4, EXXR and the heme-binding region (HBR). Comparison of the protein sequences and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the M. perniciosa enzyme was most closely related to that of Coprinopsis cinerea.
The legume Glycine max (soybean) plays an important economic role in the international commodities market, with a world production of almost 260 million tons for the 2009/2010 harvest. The increase in drought events in the last decade has caused production losses in recent harvests. This fact compels us to understand the drought tolerance mechanisms in soybean, taking into account its variability among commercial and developing cultivars. In order to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes up-regulated during drought stress, we evaluated suppression subtractive libraries (SSH) from two contrasting cultivars upon water deprivation: sensitive (BR 16) and tolerant (Embrapa 48). A total of 2,222 soybean genes were up-regulated in both cultivars. Our method identified more than 6,000 SNPs in tolerant and sensitive Brazilian cultivars in those drought stress related genes. Among these SNPs, 165 (in 127 genes) are positioned at soybean chromosome ends, including transcription factors (MYB, WRKY) related to tolerance to abiotic stress.
The Genosoja consortium is an initiative to integrate different omics research approaches carried out in Brazil. Basically, the aim of the project is to improve the plant by identifying genes involved in responses against stresses that affect domestic production, like drought stress and Asian Rust fungal disease. To do so, the project generated several types of sequence data using different methodologies, most of them sequenced by next generation sequencers. The initial stage of the project is highly dependent on bioinformatics analysis, providing suitable tools and integrated databases. In this work, we describe the main features of the Genosoja web database, including the pipelines to analyze some kinds of data (ESTs, SuperSAGE, microRNAs, subtractive cDNA libraries), as well as web interfaces to access information about soybean gene annotation and expression.
Soybean has a wide range of applications in the industry and, due to its crop potential, its improvement is widely desirable. During drought conditions, soybean crops suffer significant losses in productivity. Therefore, understanding the responses of the soybean under this stress is an effective way of targeting crop improvement techniques. In this study, we employed the Suppressive Subtractive Hybridization (SSH) technique to investigate differentially expressed genes under water deficit conditions. Embrapa 48 and BR 16 soybean lines, known as drought-tolerant and -sensitive, respectively, were grown hydroponically and subjected to different short-term periods of stress by withholding the nutrient solution. Using this approach, we have identified genes expressed during the early response to water deficit in roots and leaves. These genes were compared among the lines to assess probable differences in the plant transcriptomes. In general, similar biochemical processes were predominant in both cultivars; however, there were more considerable differences between roots and leaves of Embrapa 48. Moreover, we present here a fast, clean and straightforward method to obtain drought-stressed root tissues and a large enriched collection of transcripts expressed by soybean plants under water deficit that can be useful for further studies towards the understanding of plant responses to stress.
Escherichia coli has been isolated frequently, showing flagellar antigens that are not recognized by any of the 53 antisera, provided by the most important reference center of E. coli, The International Escherichia and Klebsiella Center (WHO) of the Statens Serum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark. The objective of this study was to characterize flagellar antigens of E. coli that express non-typeable H antigens. The methods used were serology, PCR-RFLP and DNA sequencing. This characterization was performed by gene amplification of the fliC (flagellin protein) by polymerase chain reaction in all 53 standards E.coli strains for the H antigens and 20 E. coli strains for which the H antigen was untypeable. The amplicons were digested by restriction enzymes, and different restriction enzyme profiles were observed. Anti-sera were produced in rabbits, for the non-typeable strains, and agglutination tests were carried out. In conclusion,the results showed that although non-typeable and typable H antigens strains had similar flagellar antigens, the two types of strains were distinct in terms of nucleotide sequence, and did not phenotypically react with the standard antiserum, as expected. Thirteen strains had been characterized as likely putative new H antigen using PCR-RFLP techniques, DNA sequencing and/or serology.
Coffee is one of the most valuable agricultural commodities and ranks second on international trade exchanges. The genus Coffea belongs to the Rubiaceae family which includes other important plants. The genus contains about 100 species but commercial production is based only on two species, Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora that represent about 70 % and 30 % of the total coffee market, respectively. The Brazilian Coffee Genome Project was designed with the objective of making modern genomics resources available to the coffee scientific community, working on different aspects of the coffee production chain. We have single-pass sequenced a total of 214,964 randomly picked clones from 37 cDNA libraries of C. arabica, C. canephora and C. racemosa, representing specific stages of cells and plant development that after trimming resulted in 130,792, 12,381 and 10,566 sequences for each species, respectively. The ESTs clustered into 17,982 clusters and 32,155 singletons. Blast analysis of these sequences revealed that 22 % had no significant matches to sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database (of known or unknown function). The generated coffee EST database resulted in the identification of close to 33,000 different unigenes. Annotated sequencing results have been stored in an online database at <A HREF="http://www.lge.ibi.unicamp.br/cafe">http://www.lge.ibi.unicamp.br/cafe</A>. Resources developed in this project provide genetic and genomic tools that may hold the key to the sustainability, competitiveness and future viability of the coffee industry in local and international markets.
O café é um dos principais produtos agrícolas, sendo considerado o segundo item em importância do comércio internacional de "commodities". O gênero Coffea pertence à família Rubiaceae que também inclui outras plantas importantes. Este gênero contém aproximadamente 100 espécies, mas a produção comercial é baseada somente em duas espécies, Coffea arabica e Coffea canephora, que representam aproximadamente 70 % e 30 % do mercado total de café, respectivamente. O Projeto Genoma Café Brasileiro foi desenvolvido com o objetivo de disponibilizar os modernos recursos da genômica à comunidade científica e aos diferentes segmentos da cadeia produtiva do café. Para isso, foram seqüenciados 214.964 clones escolhidos aleatoriamente de 37 bibliotecas de cDNA de C. arabica, C. canephora e C. racemosa representando estádios específicos do desenvolvimento de células e de tecidos do cafeeiro, resultando em 130.792, 12.381 e 10.566 seqüências de cada espécie, respectivamente, após processo de trimagem. Os ESTs foram agrupados em 17.982 contigs e em 32.155 singletons. A comparação destas seqüências pelo programa BLAST revelou que 22 % não tiveram nenhuma similaridade significativa às seqüências no banco de dados do National Center for Biotechnology Information (de função conhecida ou desconhecida). A base de dados de ESTs do cafeeiro resultou na identificação de cerca de 33.000 unigenes diferentes. Os resultados de anotação das seqüências foram armazenados em base de dados "online" em <A HREF="http://www.lge.ibi.unicamp.br/cafe">http://www.lge.ibi.unicamp.br/cafe</A>. Os recursos desenvolvidos por este projeto disponibilizam ferramentas genéticas e genômicas que podem ser decisivas para a sustentabilidade, a competitividade e a futura viabilidade da agroindústria cafeeira nos mercados interno e externo.