Mark Ziemann, Atul Kamboj, Runyararo M Hove, Shanon Loveridge, Assam El-Osta, Mrinal Bhave
Acta Physiologiae Plantarum
Abstract: Salinity is a threat to crops in many parts of the world, and together with drought, it is predicted to be a serious constraint to food security. However, understanding the impact of this stressor on plants is a major challenge due to the involvement of numerous genes and regulatory pathways. While transcriptomic analyses of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) under salt stress have been reported with microarrays, there are no reports as yet of the use of mRNA-Seq. We demonstrate the utility of mRNA-Seq by analysing cDNA libraries derived from acutely salt-stressed and unstressed leaf material of H. vulgare cv. Hindmarsh. The data yielded >50 million sequence tags which aligned to 26,944 sequences in the Unigene reference database. To gain maximum information, we performed de novo assembly of unaligned reads and discovered >3,800 contigs, termed novel tentative consensus sequences, which are either new, or significant improvements on current databases. Differential gene expression screening found 48 significantly up-regulated and 62 significantly down-regulated transcripts. The work provides comprehensive insights into genome-wide effects of salinity and is a new resource for the study of gene regulation in barley and wheat. Further, the bioinformatics workflow may be applicable to other non-model plants to establish their transcriptomes and identify unique sequences.
Mark Ziemann, Antony Kaspi, Ross Lazarus, Assam El-Osta
Abstract: Reliable identification of cis regulatory elements influencing transcription remains a challenging problem in molecular bioinformatics. This is especially true for enhancer elements which are often located hundreds of kilobases from the gene promoter. High resolution DNase hypersensitivity and connectivity profiling by the ENCODE consortium provides evidence of millions of interacting cis-acting elements in the human genome. This prior knowledge can be incorporated into genome-wide expression analyses, in the form of gene sets sharing regulatory sequence motifs in known DNase hypersensitivity peak regions. High proportions of enrichment among the most extreme differentially transcribed genes from controlled biological experiments may suggest novel hypotheses about signalling pathways. The utility of this approach is demonstrated with the reanalysis of a microarray-derived gene expression data set through the Gene Set Enrichment Analysis pipeline, uncovering new putative distal cis elements in the context of innate immunity. The DNase Hypersensitivity Connectivity informed Motif Enrichment in Gene Expression (DHC-MEGE) method described here has the advantage of identifying distal elements such as enhancers, which are often overlooked with standard promoter motif analysis
Abstract: Plant and animal genomes are replete with large gene families, making the task of ortholog identification difficult and labor intensive. OrthoRBH is an automated reciprocal blast pipeline tool enabling the rapid identification of specific gene families of interest in related species, streamlining the collection of homologs prior to downstream molecular evolutionary analysis. The efficacy of OrthoRBH is demonstrated with the identification of the 13-member PYR/PYL/RCAR gene family in Hordeum vulgare using Oryza sativa query sequences. OrthoRBH runs on the Linux command line and is freely available at SourceForge.