Displaying all 10 publications

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  1. Chan KL, Rosli R, Tatarinova TV, Hogan M, Firdaus-Raih M, Low EL
    BMC Bioinformatics, 2017 Jan 27;18(Suppl 1):1426.
    PMID: 28466793 DOI: 10.1186/s12859-016-1426-6
    BACKGROUND: Gene prediction is one of the most important steps in the genome annotation process. A large number of software tools and pipelines developed by various computing techniques are available for gene prediction. However, these systems have yet to accurately predict all or even most of the protein-coding regions. Furthermore, none of the currently available gene-finders has a universal Hidden Markov Model (HMM) that can perform gene prediction for all organisms equally well in an automatic fashion.

    RESULTS: We present an automated gene prediction pipeline, Seqping that uses self-training HMM models and transcriptomic data. The pipeline processes the genome and transcriptome sequences of the target species using GlimmerHMM, SNAP, and AUGUSTUS pipelines, followed by MAKER2 program to combine predictions from the three tools in association with the transcriptomic evidence. Seqping generates species-specific HMMs that are able to offer unbiased gene predictions. The pipeline was evaluated using the Oryza sativa and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes. Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCO) analysis showed that the pipeline was able to identify at least 95% of BUSCO's plantae dataset. Our evaluation shows that Seqping was able to generate better gene predictions compared to three HMM-based programs (MAKER2, GlimmerHMM and AUGUSTUS) using their respective available HMMs. Seqping had the highest accuracy in rice (0.5648 for CDS, 0.4468 for exon, and 0.6695 nucleotide structure) and A. thaliana (0.5808 for CDS, 0.5955 for exon, and 0.8839 nucleotide structure).

    CONCLUSIONS: Seqping provides researchers a seamless pipeline to train species-specific HMMs and predict genes in newly sequenced or less-studied genomes. We conclude that the Seqping pipeline predictions are more accurate than gene predictions using the other three approaches with the default or available HMMs.

  2. Nagappan J, Chin CF, Angel LPL, Cooper RM, May ST, Low EL
    Biotechnol Lett, 2018 Dec;40(11-12):1541-1550.
    PMID: 30203158 DOI: 10.1007/s10529-018-2603-7
    The first and most crucial step of all molecular techniques is to isolate high quality and intact nucleic acids. However, DNA and RNA isolation from fungal samples are usually difficult due to the cell walls that are relatively unsusceptible to lysis and often resistant to traditional extraction procedures. Although there are many extraction protocols for Ganoderma species, different extraction protocols have been applied to different species to obtain high yields of good quality nucleic acids, especially for genome and transcriptome sequencing. Ganoderma species, mainly G. boninense causes the basal stem rot disease, a devastating disease that plagues the oil palm industry. Here, we describe modified DNA extraction protocols for G. boninense, G. miniatocinctum and G. tornatum, and an RNA extraction protocol for G. boninense. The modified salting out DNA extraction protocol is suitable for G. boninense and G. miniatocinctum while the modified high salt and low pH protocol is suitable for G. tornatum. The modified DNA and RNA extraction protocols were able to produce high quality genomic DNA and total RNA of ~ 140 to 160 µg/g and ~ 80 µg/g of mycelia respectively, for Single Molecule Real Time (PacBio Sequel® System) and Illumina sequencing. These protocols will benefit those studying the oil palm pathogens at nucleotide level.
  3. Sarpan N, Taranenko E, Ooi SE, Low EL, Espinoza A, Tatarinova TV, et al.
    Plant Cell Rep, 2020 Sep;39(9):1219-1233.
    PMID: 32591850 DOI: 10.1007/s00299-020-02561-9
    KEY MESSAGE: Several hypomethylated sites within the Karma region of EgDEF1 and hotspot regions in chromosomes 1, 2, 3, and 5 may be associated with mantling. One of the main challenges faced by the oil palm industry is fruit abnormalities, such as the "mantled" phenotype that can lead to reduced yields. This clonal abnormality is an epigenetic phenomenon and has been linked to the hypomethylation of a transposable element within the EgDEF1 gene. To understand the epigenome changes in clones, methylomes of clonal oil palms were compared to methylomes of seedling-derived oil palms. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing data from seedlings, normal, and mantled clones were analyzed to determine and compare the context-specific DNA methylomes. In seedlings, coding and regulatory regions are generally hypomethylated while introns and repeats are extensively methylated. Genes with a low number of guanines and cytosines in the third position of codons (GC3-poor genes) were increasingly methylated towards their 3' region, while GC3-rich genes remain demethylated, similar to patterns in other eukaryotic species. Predicted promoter regions were generally hypomethylated in seedlings. In clones, CG, CHG, and CHH methylation levels generally decreased in functionally important regions, such as promoters, 5' UTRs, and coding regions. Although random regions were found to be hypomethylated in clonal genomes, hypomethylation of certain hotspot regions may be associated with the clonal mantling phenotype. Our findings, therefore, suggest other hypomethylated CHG sites within the Karma of EgDEF1 and hypomethylated hotspot regions in chromosomes 1, 2, 3 and 5, are associated with mantling.
  4. Rosli R, Chan PL, Chan KL, Amiruddin N, Low EL, Singh R, et al.
    Plant Sci, 2018 Oct;275:84-96.
    PMID: 30107884 DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2018.07.011
    The diacylglycerol acyltransferases (DGAT) (diacylglycerol:acyl-CoA acyltransferase, EC 2.3.1.20) are a key group of enzymes that catalyse the final and usually the most important rate-limiting step of triacylglycerol biosynthesis in plants and other organisms. Genes encoding four distinct functional families of DGAT enzymes have been characterised in the genome of the African oil palm, Elaeis guineensis. The contrasting features of the various isoforms within the four families of DGAT genes, namely DGAT1, DGAT2, DGAT3 and WS/DGAT are presented both in the oil palm itself and, for comparative purposes, in 12 other oil crop or model/related plants, namely Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium distachyon, Brassica napus, Elaeis oleifera, Glycine max, Gossypium hirsutum, Helianthus annuus, Musa acuminata, Oryza sativa, Phoenix dactylifera, Sorghum bicolor, and Zea mays. The oil palm genome contains respectively three, two, two and two distinctly expressed functional copies of the DGAT1, DGAT2, DGAT3 and WS/DGAT genes. Phylogenetic analyses of the four DGAT families showed that the E. guineensis genes tend to cluster with sequences from P. dactylifera and M. acuminata rather than with other members of the Commelinid monocots group, such as the Poales which include the major cereal crops such as rice and maize. Comparison of the predicted DGAT protein sequences with other animal and plant DGATs was consistent with the E. guineensis DGAT1 being ER located with its active site facing the lumen while DGAT2, although also ER located, had a predicted cytosol-facing active site. In contrast, DGAT3 and some (but not all) WS/DGAT in E. guineensis are predicted to be soluble, cytosolic enzymes. Evaluation of E. guineensis DGAT gene expression in different tissues and developmental stages suggests that the four DGAT groups have distinctive physiological roles and are particularly prominent in developmental processes relating to reproduction, such as flowering, and in fruit/seed formation especially in the mesocarp and endosperm tissues.
  5. Sanusi NSNM, Rosli R, Halim MAA, Chan KL, Nagappan J, Azizi N, et al.
    Database (Oxford), 2018 01 01;2018.
    PMID: 30239681 DOI: 10.1093/database/bay095
    A set of Elaeis guineensis genes had been generated by combining two gene prediction pipelines: Fgenesh++ developed by Softberry and Seqping by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. PalmXplore was developed to provide a scalable data repository and a user-friendly search engine system to efficiently store, manage and retrieve the oil palm gene sequences and annotations. Information deposited in PalmXplore includes predicted genes, their genomic coordinates, as well as the annotations derived from external databases, such as Pfam, Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Information about genes related to important traits, such as those involved in fatty acid biosynthesis (FAB) and disease resistance, is also provided. The system offers Basic Local Alignment Search Tool homology search, where the results can be downloaded or visualized in the oil palm genome browser (MYPalmViewer). PalmXplore is regularly updated offering new features, improvements to genome annotation and new genomic sequences. The system is freely accessible at http://palmxplore.mpob.gov.my.
  6. Gan ST, Wong WC, Wong CK, Soh AC, Kilian A, Low EL, et al.
    J Appl Genet, 2018 Feb;59(1):23-34.
    PMID: 29214520 DOI: 10.1007/s13353-017-0420-7
    Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is an outbreeding perennial tree crop with long breeding cycles, typically 12 years. Molecular marker technologies can greatly improve the breeding efficiency of oil palm. This study reports the first use of the DArTseq platform to genotype two closely related self-pollinated oil palm populations, namely AA0768 and AA0769 with 48 and 58 progeny respectively. Genetic maps were constructed using the DArT and SNP markers generated in combination with anchor SSR markers. Both maps consisted of 16 major independent linkage groups (2n = 2× = 32) with 1399 and 1466 mapped markers for the AA0768 and AA0769 populations, respectively, including the morphological trait "shell-thickness" (Sh). The map lengths were 1873.7 and 1720.6 cM with an average marker density of 1.34 and 1.17 cM, respectively. The integrated map was 1803.1 cM long with 2066 mapped markers and average marker density of 0.87 cM. A total of 82% of the DArTseq marker sequence tags identified a single site in the published genome sequence, suggesting preferential targeting of gene-rich regions by DArTseq markers. Map integration of higher density focused around the Sh region identified closely linked markers to the Sh, with D.15322 marker 0.24 cM away from the morphological trait and 5071 bp from the transcriptional start of the published SHELL gene. Identification of the Sh marker demonstrates the robustness of using the DArTseq platform to generate high density genetic maps of oil palm with good genome coverage. Both genetic maps and integrated maps will be useful for quantitative trait loci analysis of important yield traits as well as potentially assisting the anchoring of genetic maps to genomic sequences.
  7. Chan PL, Rose RJ, Abdul Murad AM, Zainal Z, Ong PW, Ooi LC, et al.
    Plant Cell Rep, 2020 Nov;39(11):1395-1413.
    PMID: 32734510 DOI: 10.1007/s00299-020-02571-7
    KEY MESSAGE: Transcript profiling during the early induction phase of oil palm tissue culture and RNAi studies in a model somatic embryogenesis system showed that EgENOD93 expression is essential for somatic embryogenesis. Micropropagation of oil palm through tissue culture is vital for the generation of superior and uniform elite planting materials. Studies were carried out to identify genes to distinguish between leaf explants with the potential to develop into embryogenic or non-embryogenic callus. Oil palm cDNA microarrays were co-hybridized with cDNA probes of reference tissue, separately with embryo forming (media T527) and non-embryo (media T694) forming leaf explants sampled at Day 7, Day 14 and Day 21. Analysis of the normalized datasets has identified 77, 115 and 127 significantly differentially expressed genes at Day 7, Day 14, and Day 21, respectively. An early nodulin 93 protein gene (ENOD93), was highly expressed at Day 7, Day 14, and Day 21 and in callus (media T527), as assessed by RT-qPCR. Validation of EgENOD93 across tissue culture lines of different genetic background and media composition showed the potential of this gene as an embryogenic marker. In situ RNA hybridization and functional characterization in Medicago truncatula provided additional evidence that ENOD93 is essential for somatic embryogenesis. This study supports the suitability of EgENOD93 as a marker to predict the potential of leaf explants to produce embryogenic callus. Crosstalk among stresses, auxin, and Nod-factor like signalling molecules likely induces the expression of EgENOD93 for embryogenic callus formation.
  8. Chan KL, Tatarinova TV, Rosli R, Amiruddin N, Azizi N, Halim MAA, et al.
    Biol. Direct, 2017 Sep 08;12(1):21.
    PMID: 28886750 DOI: 10.1186/s13062-017-0191-4
    BACKGROUND: Oil palm is an important source of edible oil. The importance of the crop, as well as its long breeding cycle (10-12 years) has led to the sequencing of its genome in 2013 to pave the way for genomics-guided breeding. Nevertheless, the first set of gene predictions, although useful, had many fragmented genes. Classification and characterization of genes associated with traits of interest, such as those for fatty acid biosynthesis and disease resistance, were also limited. Lipid-, especially fatty acid (FA)-related genes are of particular interest for the oil palm as they specify oil yields and quality. This paper presents the characterization of the oil palm genome using different gene prediction methods and comparative genomics analysis, identification of FA biosynthesis and disease resistance genes, and the development of an annotation database and bioinformatics tools.

    RESULTS: Using two independent gene-prediction pipelines, Fgenesh++ and Seqping, 26,059 oil palm genes with transcriptome and RefSeq support were identified from the oil palm genome. These coding regions of the genome have a characteristic broad distribution of GC3 (fraction of cytosine and guanine in the third position of a codon) with over half the GC3-rich genes (GC3 ≥ 0.75286) being intronless. In comparison, only one-seventh of the oil palm genes identified are intronless. Using comparative genomics analysis, characterization of conserved domains and active sites, and expression analysis, 42 key genes involved in FA biosynthesis in oil palm were identified. For three of them, namely EgFABF, EgFABH and EgFAD3, segmental duplication events were detected. Our analysis also identified 210 candidate resistance genes in six classes, grouped by their protein domain structures.

    CONCLUSIONS: We present an accurate and comprehensive annotation of the oil palm genome, focusing on analysis of important categories of genes (GC3-rich and intronless), as well as those associated with important functions, such as FA biosynthesis and disease resistance. The study demonstrated the advantages of having an integrated approach to gene prediction and developed a computational framework for combining multiple genome annotations. These results, available in the oil palm annotation database ( http://palmxplore.mpob.gov.my ), will provide important resources for studies on the genomes of oil palm and related crops.

    REVIEWERS: This article was reviewed by Alexander Kel, Igor Rogozin, and Vladimir A. Kuznetsov.

  9. Amiruddin N, Chan PL, Azizi N, Morris PE, Chan KL, Ong PW, et al.
    Plant Cell Physiol, 2020 Apr 01;61(4):735-747.
    PMID: 31883014 DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcz237
    Acyl-CoA-binding proteins (ACBPs) are involved in binding and trafficking acyl-CoA esters in eukaryotic cells. ACBPs contain a well-conserved acyl-CoA-binding domain. Their various functions have been characterized in the model plant Arabidopsis and, to a lesser extent, in rice. In this study, genome-wide detection and expression analysis of ACBPs were performed on Elaeis guineensis (oil palm), the most important oil crop in the world. Seven E. guineensis ACBPs were identified and classified into four groups according to their deduced amino acid domain organization. Phylogenetic analysis showed conservation of this family with other higher plants. All seven EgACBPs were expressed in most tissues while their differential expression suggests various functions in specific tissues. For example, EgACBP3 had high expression in inflorescences and stalks while EgACBP1 showed strong expression in leaves. Because of the importance of E. guineensis as an oil crop, expression of EgACBPs was specifically examined during fruit development. EgACBP3 showed high expression throughout mesocarp development, while EgACBP1 had enhanced expression during rapid oil synthesis. In endosperm, both EgACBP1 and EgACBP3 exhibited increased expression during seed development. These results provide important information for further investigations on the biological functions of EgACBPs in various tissues and, in particular, their roles in oil synthesis.
  10. Singh R, Low EL, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Ting NC, Nookiah R, et al.
    New Phytol, 2020 04;226(2):426-440.
    PMID: 31863488 DOI: 10.1111/nph.16387
    Oil palm breeding involves crossing dura and pisifera palms to produce tenera progeny with greatly improved oil yield. Oil yield is controlled by variant alleles of a type II MADS-box gene, SHELL, that impact the presence and thickness of the endocarp, or shell, surrounding the fruit kernel. We identified six novel SHELL alleles in noncommercial African germplasm populations from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. These populations provide extensive diversity to harness genetic, mechanistic and phenotypic variation associated with oil yield in a globally critical crop. We investigated phenotypes in heteroallelic combinations, as well as SHELL heterodimerization and subcellular localization by yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation and gene expression analyses. Four novel SHELL alleles were associated with fruit form phenotype. Candidate heterodimerization partners were identified, and interactions with EgSEP3 and subcellular localization were SHELL allele-specific. Our findings reveal allele-specific mechanisms by which variant SHELL alleles impact yield, as well as speculative insights into the potential role of SHELL in single-gene oil yield heterosis. Future field trials for combinability and introgression may further optimize yield and improve sustainability.
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