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Title: Systems Level Regulation of Rhythmic Growth Rate and Biomass Accumulation in Grasses

Abstract

Objectives: Several breakthroughs have been recently made in our understanding of plant growth and biomass accumulation. It was found that plant growth is rhythmically controlled throughout the day by the circadian clock through a complex interplay of light and phytohormone signaling pathways. While plants such as the C4 energy crop sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and possibly the C3 grass Brachypodium distachyon also exhibit daily rhythms in growth rate, the molecular details of its regulation remain to be explored. A better understanding of diurnally regulated growth behavior in grasses may lead to species-specific mechanisms highly relevant to future strategies to optimize energy crop biomass yield. Here we propose to devise a systems approach to identify, in parallel, regulatory hubs associated with rhythmic growth in C3 and C4 plants. We propose to use rhythmicity in daily growth patterns to drive the discovery of regulatory network modules controlling biomass accumulation. Description: The project is divided in three main parts: 1) Performing time-lapse imaging and growth measurement in B. distachyon and S. bicolor to determine growth rate dynamic during the day/night cycle. Identifying growth-associated genes whose expression patterns follow the observed growth dynamics using deep sequencing technology, 2) identifying regulators of these genesmore » by screening for DNA-binding proteins interacting with the growth-associated gene promoters identified in Aim 1. Screens will be performed using a validated yeast-one hybrid strategy paired with a specifically designed B. distachyon and S. bicolor transcription factor libraries (1000 clones each), and 3) Selecting 50 potential growth regulators from the screen for downstream characterization. The selection will be made by using a sytems biology approach by calculating the connectivity between growth rate, rhythmic gene expression profiles and TF expression profile and determine which TF is likely part of a hub and a potential regulator of plant growth. We will confirme the 50 DNA-protein interactions using transient transcriptional assays in B. distachyon and S. bicolor, and perform further testing in vivo by measuring growth parameters in transgenic loss- or gain-of-function lines for the selected transcription factors (25 B. distachyon and 3 S. bicolor lines). In 2016 the Principal Investigator relocated the laboratory to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) where the project has continued with an end date of 08/31/17. Accomplishments: We successfully collected large datasets of gene expression form the model grass Brachypodium. We used and developed bioinformatics analysis tools to investigate the structure, dynamics and robustness of circadian regulated gene expression in Brachypodium. Relevant Discoveries: We were able to determine that the endogenous circadian clock appears to play a much more subdued role in growth regulation in Brachypodium, that has been demonstrated in either Arabidopsis, or crop plants like Rice, Corn and Soybean. This led to our conclusion that Brachypodium unfortunately is unlikely to serve as an informative model for understanding how growth regulation in plants is under the control of circadian network circuitry. However, we were able to leverage our datasets in Brachypodium to inform us and reinforce a large collaborative study on gene networks governing cell wall deposition in Arabidopsis. This led to a major and highly cited publication relevant to improving biomass production.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1400388
Report Number(s):
DOE-USC-9885
DOE Contract Number:
SC0009885
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Matos DA, Cole BJ, Whitney IP, MacKinnon KJ-M, Kay SA, et al. (2014) Daily Changes in Temperature, Not the Circadian Clock, Regulate Growth Rate inBrachypodium distachyon. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100072. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100072
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Rhythmic Growth Rate; Biomass Accumulation in Grasses; C3 grass; Brachypodium distachyon

Citation Formats

Kay, Steve A. Systems Level Regulation of Rhythmic Growth Rate and Biomass Accumulation in Grasses. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1400388.
Kay, Steve A. Systems Level Regulation of Rhythmic Growth Rate and Biomass Accumulation in Grasses. United States. doi:10.2172/1400388.
Kay, Steve A. 2017. "Systems Level Regulation of Rhythmic Growth Rate and Biomass Accumulation in Grasses". United States. doi:10.2172/1400388. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1400388.
@article{osti_1400388,
title = {Systems Level Regulation of Rhythmic Growth Rate and Biomass Accumulation in Grasses},
author = {Kay, Steve A.},
abstractNote = {Objectives: Several breakthroughs have been recently made in our understanding of plant growth and biomass accumulation. It was found that plant growth is rhythmically controlled throughout the day by the circadian clock through a complex interplay of light and phytohormone signaling pathways. While plants such as the C4 energy crop sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and possibly the C3 grass Brachypodium distachyon also exhibit daily rhythms in growth rate, the molecular details of its regulation remain to be explored. A better understanding of diurnally regulated growth behavior in grasses may lead to species-specific mechanisms highly relevant to future strategies to optimize energy crop biomass yield. Here we propose to devise a systems approach to identify, in parallel, regulatory hubs associated with rhythmic growth in C3 and C4 plants. We propose to use rhythmicity in daily growth patterns to drive the discovery of regulatory network modules controlling biomass accumulation. Description: The project is divided in three main parts: 1) Performing time-lapse imaging and growth measurement in B. distachyon and S. bicolor to determine growth rate dynamic during the day/night cycle. Identifying growth-associated genes whose expression patterns follow the observed growth dynamics using deep sequencing technology, 2) identifying regulators of these genes by screening for DNA-binding proteins interacting with the growth-associated gene promoters identified in Aim 1. Screens will be performed using a validated yeast-one hybrid strategy paired with a specifically designed B. distachyon and S. bicolor transcription factor libraries (1000 clones each), and 3) Selecting 50 potential growth regulators from the screen for downstream characterization. The selection will be made by using a sytems biology approach by calculating the connectivity between growth rate, rhythmic gene expression profiles and TF expression profile and determine which TF is likely part of a hub and a potential regulator of plant growth. We will confirme the 50 DNA-protein interactions using transient transcriptional assays in B. distachyon and S. bicolor, and perform further testing in vivo by measuring growth parameters in transgenic loss- or gain-of-function lines for the selected transcription factors (25 B. distachyon and 3 S. bicolor lines). In 2016 the Principal Investigator relocated the laboratory to The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) where the project has continued with an end date of 08/31/17. Accomplishments: We successfully collected large datasets of gene expression form the model grass Brachypodium. We used and developed bioinformatics analysis tools to investigate the structure, dynamics and robustness of circadian regulated gene expression in Brachypodium. Relevant Discoveries: We were able to determine that the endogenous circadian clock appears to play a much more subdued role in growth regulation in Brachypodium, that has been demonstrated in either Arabidopsis, or crop plants like Rice, Corn and Soybean. This led to our conclusion that Brachypodium unfortunately is unlikely to serve as an informative model for understanding how growth regulation in plants is under the control of circadian network circuitry. However, we were able to leverage our datasets in Brachypodium to inform us and reinforce a large collaborative study on gene networks governing cell wall deposition in Arabidopsis. This led to a major and highly cited publication relevant to improving biomass production.},
doi = {10.2172/1400388},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
}

Technical Report:

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  • Several breakthroughs have been recently made in our understanding of plant growth and biomass accumulation. It was found that plant growth is rhythmically controlled throughout the day by the circadian clock through a complex interplay of light and phytohormone signaling pathways. While plants such as the C4 energy crop sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and possibly the C3 grass (Brachypodium distachyon) also exhibit daily rhythms in growth rate, the molecular details of its regulation remain to be explored. A better understanding of diurnally regulated growth behavior in grasses may lead to species-specific mechanisms highly relevant to future strategies to optimizemore » energy crop biomass yield. Here we propose to devise a systems approach to identify, in parallel, regulatory hubs associated with rhythmic growth in C3 and C4 plants. We propose to use rhythmicity in daily growth patterns to drive the discovery of regulatory network modules controlling biomass accumulation.« less
  • Critical to the development of renewable energy sources from biofuels is the improvement of biomass from energy feedstocks, such as sorghum and maize. The specific goals of this project include 1) characterize the growth and gene expression patterns under diurnal and circadian conditions, 2) select transcription factors associated with growth and build a cis-regulatory network in yeast, and 3) perturb these transcription factors in planta using transgenic Brachypodium and sorghum, and characterize the phenotypic outcomes as they relate to biomass accumulation. A better understanding of diurnally regulated growth behavior in grasses may lead to species-specific mechanisms highly relevant to futuremore » strategies to optimize energy crop biomass yield.« less
  • Poplars trees are well suited for biofuel production due to their fast growing habit, favorable wood composition and adaptation to a broad range of environments. The availability of a reference genome sequence, ease of vegetative propagation and availability of transformation methods also make poplar an ideal model for the study of wood formation and biomass growth in woody, perennial plants. The objective of this project was to conduct a genome-wide association genetics study to identify genes that regulate bioenergy traits in Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). Populus deltoides is a genetically diverse keystone forest species in North America and an importantmore » short rotation woody crop for the bioenergy industry. We searched for associations between eight growth and wood composition traits and common and low-frequency single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) detected by targeted resequencing of 18,153 genes in a population of 391 unrelated individuals. To increase power to detect associations with low-frequency variants, multiple-marker association tests were used in combination with single-marker association tests. Significant associations were discovered for all phenotypes and are indicative that low-frequency polymorphisms contribute to phenotypic variance of several bioenergy traits. These polymorphism are critical tools for the development of specialized plant feedstocks for bioenergy.« less
  • Poplars trees are well suited for biofuel production due to their fast growing habit, favorable wood composition and adaptation to a broad range of environments. The availability of a reference genome sequence, ease of vegetative propagation and availability of transformation methods also make poplar an ideal model for the study of wood formation and biomass growth in woody, perennial plants. The objective of this project was to conduct a genome-wide association genetics study to identify genes that regulate bioenergy traits in Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). Populus deltoides is a genetically diverse keystone forest species in North America and an importantmore » short rotation woody crop for the bioenergy industry. We searched for associations between eight growth and wood composition traits and common and low-frequency single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) detected by targeted resequencing of 18,153 genes in a population of 391 unrelated individuals. To increase power to detect associations with low-frequency variants, multiple-marker association tests were used in combination with single-marker association tests. Significant associations were discovered for all phenotypes and are indicative that low-frequency polymorphisms contribute to phenotypic variance of several bioenergy traits. These polymorphism are critical tools for the development of specialized plant feedstocks for bioenergy.« less
  • Growth and biomass accumulation of selected nutrients and trace metals were monitored for six species of aquatic macrophytes during June, August and November, 1993. Plant species were cultivated in two polyculture treatments, each replicated three times. Polyculture I consisted of Scirpus acutus (hardstem bullrush), Phragmites communes (common reed), and Phalaris arundinacea (canary grass). Polyculture H consisted of Typha spp. (cattail), Scirpus atrovirens (green bullrush), and Scirpus cyperinus (wool grass). Each of the six cells (6 x 9 x 0.6 m), was operated as a gravel-substrate, subsurface-flow wetlands in a continuous recirculating mode. At six week intervals, macro, micro and tracemore » elements were dissolved and added to the sump of the recirculating system. On each of three sampling dates, replicate shoot and root samples were collected, segregated by species and tissue type (roots, rhizomes, stems and leaves), and prepared for gravimetric biomass estimates and chemical analysis. Tissue specific concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu, were determined on each date for each species and tissue type. Results will be discussed with respect to species specific growth rates, biomass accumulation, and seasonal uptake and translocation of plant nutrients.« less