Abstract Detail


Jorgensen, Stacy [1], Barker, Michael [2], Beilstein, Mark [3].

Evolution and conservation of long noncoding RNAs in resurrection plants of the lycophyte genus Selaginella.

Transcription of noncoding sequence is widespread in eukaryotic genomes. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcripts greater than 200 nucleotides in length that do not encode a protein. Cellular processes in which lncRNAs are involved include regulation of gene expression, telomere maintenance, environmental stress response, and vernalization. Sequence conservation is positively correlated with tissue specificity, expression level, and stress responsiveness. Catalogues of lncRNAs have been published for species in Brassicaceae and Fabaceae, as well as in the cereal crops maize, rice, and millet. However, little is known about lncRNAs in plants outside of the angiosperms. The lycophyte genus Selaginella is an emerging model system in the study of plant evolution. Selaginella originated approximately 400 million years ago, and is integral to understanding the evolutionary history of land plants. The 'resurrection' phenotype, wherein plants desiccate and enter a state of dormancy during drought and quickly recover when moisture is again available, has arisen multiple times in Selaginella, and is a prominent feature of many of the members of subgenus Rupestrae. This charismatic phenotype is a mechanism for tolerating long periods of extreme drought. The rapid diversification of resurrection plants in the subgenus Rupestrae coincides with the appearance of the Southwestern deserts, and they may represent an adaptive radiation across arid western North America. In this work, we characterize lncRNA catalogs in Selaginellaceae, with a particular focus on the resurrection species of Selaginella subg. Rupestrae. Leveraging publicly available data as well as newly sequenced genomes and transcriptomes, we use a comparative approach to evaluate evolution and conservation of lncRNAs in five subgenera, including resurrection species from three subgenera. The characterization and exploration of lncRNA evolution in Selaginella is territory that has been previously unexplored; our results add this lineage to the tree of life in the lncRNA landscape, and provide new evolutionary insight. Moreover, this work expands our understanding of the genetic and molecular underpinnings of desiccation tolerance.

1 - University Of Arizona, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 1041 E Lowell St, PO Box 210088, Tucson, AZ, 85721, United States
2 - University of Arizona, Department Of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, P.O. Box 210088, Tucson, Arizona, 85721, US
3 - University of Arizona, School of Plant Sciences, 1140 E. South Campus Drive, P.O. Box 210036, Tucson, AZ, 85721, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: 0002
Abstract ID:446
Candidate for Awards:Edgar T. Wherry award

Copyright © 2000-2018, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved