Transcriptome Analysis in Sheepgrass Leymus chinensis: A Dominant Perennial Grass of the Eurasian SteppeReport as inadecuate




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Background

Sheepgrass Leymus chinensis Trin. Tzvel. is an important perennial forage grass across the Eurasian Steppe and is known for its adaptability to various environmental conditions. However, insufficient data resources in public databases for sheepgrass limited our understanding of the mechanism of environmental adaptations, gene discovery and molecular marker development.

Results

The transcriptome of sheepgrass was sequenced using Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology. We assembled 952,328 high-quality reads into 87,214 unigenes, including 32,416 contigs and 54,798 singletons. There were 15,450 contigs over 500 bp in length. BLAST searches of our database against Swiss-Prot and NCBI non-redundant protein sequences nr databases resulted in the annotation of 54,584 62.6% of the unigenes. Gene Ontology GO analysis assigned 89,129 GO term annotations for 17,463 unigenes. We identified 11,675 core Poaceae-specific and 12,811 putative sheepgrass-specific unigenes by BLAST searches against all plant genome and transcriptome databases. A total of 2,979 specific freezing-responsive unigenes were found from this RNAseq dataset. We identified 3,818 EST-SSRs in 3,597 unigenes, and some SSRs contained unigenes that were also candidates for freezing-response genes. Characterizations of nucleotide repeats and dominant motifs of SSRs in sheepgrass were also performed. Similarity and phylogenetic analysis indicated that sheepgrass is closely related to barley and wheat.

Conclusions

This research has greatly enriched sheepgrass transcriptome resources. The identified stress-related genes will help us to decipher the genetic basis of the environmental and ecological adaptations of this species and will be used to improve wheat and barley crops through hybridization or genetic transformation. The EST-SSRs reported here will be a valuable resource for future gene-phenotype studies and for the molecular breeding of sheepgrass and other Poaceae species.



Author: Shuangyan Chen , Xin Huang, Xueqing Yan, Ye Liang, Yuezhu Wang, Xiaofeng Li, Xianjun Peng, Xingyong Ma, Lexin Zhang, Yueyue Cai,

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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