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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 14;10(10):e0140629. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140629. eCollection 2015.

Identification of Photosynthesis-Associated C4 Candidate Genes through Comparative Leaf Gradient Transcriptome in Multiple Lineages of C3 and C4 Species.

Author information

1
The Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Hainan, Haikou, China; Computational Biology Service Unit, Life Sciences Core Laboratories Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America.
2
The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.
3
Computational Biology Service Unit, Life Sciences Core Laboratories Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America.
4
State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Agronomy, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, Shandong, China.
5
Partner State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

Leaves of C4 crops usually have higher radiation, water and nitrogen use efficiencies compared to the C3 species. Engineering C4 traits into C3 crops has been proposed as one of the most promising ways to repeal the biomass yield ceiling. To better understand the function of C4 photosynthesis, and to identify candidate genes that are associated with the C4 pathways, a comparative transcription network analysis was conducted on leaf developmental gradients of three C4 species including maize, green foxtail and sorghum and one C3 species, rice. By combining the methods of gene co-expression and differentially co-expression networks, we identified a total of 128 C4 specific genes. Besides the classic C4 shuttle genes, a new set of genes associated with light reaction, starch and sucrose metabolism, metabolites transportation, as well as transcription regulation, were identified as involved in C4 photosynthesis. These findings will provide important insights into the differential gene regulation between C3 and C4 species, and a good genetic resource for establishing C4 pathways in C3 crops.

PMID:
26465154
PMCID:
PMC4605685
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0140629
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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