Abscisic acid (ABA) regulates plant adaptive responses to various environmental stresses. Oxidative cleavage of cis-epoxycarotenoids catalyzed by 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED) is the main regulatory step in the biosynthesis of ABA in higher plants. Using RACE technology, a full-length cDNA-encoding NCED gene was isolated and characterized from the leaves of Caragana korshinskii (Peashrub). The 2442-bp full-length CkNCED1 had a 1818-bp ORF, which encodes a peptide of 605 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of CkNCED1 protein shared high identity with other NCEDs. Southern blot analysis revealed that the gene CkNCED1 was a single copy in the genome of C. korshinskii. When C. korshinskii plants were exposed to a water deficit, ABA accumulation was followed by large increases in CkNCED1 mRNA in leaves and stems, but only a moderate increase in the roots. Conversely, rehydration of stressed leaves caused a rapid decrease in CkNCED1 mRNA and ABA levels. RT-PCR and Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that salt stress rapidly induced the strong expression of CkNCED1 in leaves and roots of C. korshinskii, as well as ABA accumulation. The expression of CkNCED1 and ABA accumulation was also induced by cold stress and the application of exogenous ABA. Taken together, these results suggest that CkNCED1 likely plays a primary role in the biosynthesis of ABA in C. korshinskii.
Rye chromosome 1R harbors many agronomically important genes such as resistance genes for rusts. Using the gametocidal system, we dissected the 1R chromosome substituted for wheat chromosome 1B in a common wheat cultivar ‘Burgas 2’. The gametocidal system induces chromosomal breakage in the 1R chromosome, as well as in wheat chromosomes. We cytologically examined a pool of prescreened common wheat plants that had been shown to have single or multiple rearranged 1R chromosomes and established 95 common wheat lines carrying single 1R segments. We conducted PCR analysis of these lines, termed ‘1R dissection lines’, using 10 PCR-based 1R-specific markers. We mapped the 10 PCR-based markers along the 1R chromosome with the breakpoints of the 1R dissection lines. Based on the PCR result and the positions of the primary and secondary constrictions, we could separate the breakpoints of the rearranged 1R chromosomes into 12 regions along the 1R chromosome. On the other hand, using the breakpoints, we could separate the PCR-based markers from each other except for two markers. These dissection lines are useful in mapping DNA markers and may facilitate the construction of contig maps.
Scorpions are “living but sophisticated fossils” that have changed little in their morphology since their first appearance over the past 450 million years ago. To provide a genetic resource for understanding the evolution of scorpion genome and the relationships between scorpions and other organisms, we first determined the genome size of the scorpion Mesobuthus martensii Karsch (about 600 Mbp) in the order Scorpiones and constructed a HindIII BAC library of the male scorpion M. martensii Karsch from China. The BAC library consists of a total of 46,080 clones with an average insert size of 100 kb, providing a 7.7-fold coverage of the scorpion haploid genome size of 600 Mbp as revealed in this study. High-density colony hybridization-based library screening was performed using 18S-5.8S-28S rRNA gene that is one of the most commonly used phylogenetic markers. Both library screening and PCR identification results revealed six positive BAC clones which were overlapped, and formed a contig of approximately 120 kb covering the rDNA. BAC DNA sequencing analysis determined the complete sequence of M. martensii Karsch rDNA unit that has a total length of 8779 bp, including 1813 bp 18s rDNA, 157 bp 5.8s rDNA, 3823 bp 28s rDNA, 530 bp ETS, 2168 bp ITS1 and 288 bp ITS2. Interestingly, some tandem repeats are present in the rRNA intergenic sequence (IGS) and ITS1/2 regions. These results demonstrated that the BAC library of the scorpion M. martensii Karsch and the complete sequence of rDNA unit will provide important genetic resources and tools for comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis.
Promoters, the genomic regions proximal to the transcriptional start sites (TSSs) play pivotal roles in determining the rate of transcription initiation by serving as direct docking platforms for the RNA polymerase II complex. In the post-genomic era, correct gene prediction has become one of the biggest challenges in genome annotation. Species-independent promoter prediction tools could also be useful in meta-genomics, since transcription data will not be available for micro-organisms which are not cultivated. Promoter prediction in prokaryotic genomes presents unique challenges owing to their organizational properties. Several methods have been developed to predict the promoter regions of genomes in prokaryotes, including algorithms for recognition of sequence motifs, artificial neural networks, and algorithms based on genome’s structure. However, none of them satisfies both criteria of sensitivity and precision. In this work, we present a modified artificial neural network fed by nearest neighbors based on DNA duplex stability, named N4, which can predict the transcription start sites of Escherichia coli with sensitivity and precision both above 94%, better than most of the existed algorithms.