A complete and rigorous comparison of the genes of several strains of the cacao tree has provided insight into the role that genetic structural variations may play in regulating genetic expression and chromosome evolution. .
Team Member Mark Guilden, Jr .; According to Franklin Styr, professor of horticultural botany, this research is unlikely to have implications for plant genetics in general, before powerful computers could speed up the high-definition sequence of genes possible, affordable, and relatively fast. And Professor of Plant Molecular Biology at Ben State College of Agricultural Sciences.
“The genes of different populations of cacao trees are 99.9% identical, but about one-tenth of their genes account for the diversity of the plant in different regions and adaptation to different diseases.” Said. “This study makes a connection between structural variability and the potential of a plant to adapt to a local environment.”
Molecular geneticists have known for about a decade that genetic structural variations can play an important role in the adaptation and reproduction of plants and animals, but their overall impact on the health of plant populations is not well understood. Accurate demographic identification of structural variations requires analysis of several high-quality genetic assemblies that are not widely available.
In this study, the researchers examined the exercise effects of variations in the genetic makeup of the natural population and compared the chromosome-level gene groups of 31 naturally occurring theoproma cocoa to the long-lived wood species that are the source of the chocolate. Of those 31 strains of cocoa, they found more than 160,000 structural types.
In a findings published today (Aug. 16) in the Processes of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said that most structural variations are harmful and thus restrict cocoa plant adaptation. They noted that these detrimental effects may be a direct result of impaired gene function and an indirect effect of long-suppressed genetic remodeling.
However, despite the overall detrimental effects, the study also identified individual structural variations with signatures of local adaptation, many of which are related to genes that are expressed differently between populations. Highlighting the contribution of structural variations to this key local adaptation trait, there are genes involved in pathogen resistance among these candidates.
Overall, their findings provide important insights into the processes underlying the exercise effects of structural variations in the natural population, the researchers pointed out. They suggest that structural variations affect gene expression, which can affect genetic function and contribute to their detrimental effects. They also provided empirical support for a theoretical prediction that structural variations suppress genetic remodeling, making plants less likely to adapt to stress.
In addition to revealing new empirical evidence for the evolutionary importance of structural variations in all plants, documenting genetic variations and structural variations in 31 strains of cocoa provides valuable evidence for current genetic and reproductive studies for that valuable plant, Guilden noted.
“All the cocoa came from the Amazon Basin – the plants were collected from the forest a long time ago by collectors, they were cloned, so we have a permanent collection,” he said. “Their genes are sorted, which represents a large amount of work and data. As a result of this study, we know that structural variation is important for plant survival, plant evolution, and especially for plants adapting to local conditions.
Note: Hämälä, Wafula E, Ralph P, Guiltinan M, dePamphilis C, Tiffin P. Genetic structural variations Theobroma Cocoa facilitates adaptation to the natural population of the chocolate tree. PNAS. 2021. doi: 10.5281 / zenodo.4765774
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