• BEIJIU CHENG

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Application of RNA interference methodology to investigate and develop SCMV resistance in maize

      Defang Gan Fei Ding Dan Zhuang Haiyang Jiang Tong Jiang Suwen Zhu Beijiu Cheng

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      Specific fragments of the sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) coat protein gene (cp) were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and used to construct a marker free small interfering RNA complex expression vector against SCMV. In planta transformation was performed on maize (Zea mays) inbred line 8112 mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. PCR and Southern blot analyses demonstrated successful integration of the cp segment into the 8112 genome. The in planta transformation frequency was 0.1%, and the cotransformed frequency with the cp and bar genes was 0.034%. Realtime quantitative PCR of samples from different transgenic plant organs showed that the expression of the cp gene fragment in transgenic plants was variable and that the highest expression level occurred in the tassels and leaves and the lowest expression occurred in the roots. Real-time quantitative PCR was also used to measure how gene expression in transgenic T2 generation plants inoculated with SCMV changes over time. The results showed that the hairpin RNA structure transcribed from the cp gene interfered with SCMV infection and transgenic maize lines were not equally effective in preventing SCMV infection. Our findings provide a valuable tool for controlling plant viruses using RNA interference and the posttranslational gene silencing approach.

    • Genomewide identification, classification and analysis of NAC type gene family in maize

      Xiaojian Peng Yang Zhao Xiaoming Li Min Wu Wenbo Chai Lei Sheng Yu Wang Qing Dong Haiyang Jiang Beijiu Cheng

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      NAC transcription factors comprise a large plant-specific gene family. Increasing evidence suggests that members of this family have diverse functions in plant growth and development. In this study, we performed a genomewide survey of NAC type genes in maize (Zea mays L.). A complete set of 148 nonredundant NAC genes (ZmNAC1–ZmNAC148) were identified in the maize genome using Blast search tools, and divided into 12 groups (a–l) based on phylogeny. Chromosomal location of these genes revealed that they are distributed unevenly across all 10 chromosomes. Segmental and tandem duplication contributed largely to the expansion of the maize NAC gene family. The 𝐾a/𝐾s ratio suggested that the duplicated genes of maize NAC family mainly experienced purifying selection, with limited functional divergence after duplication events. Microarray analysis indicated most of the maize NAC genes were expressed across different developmental stages. Moreover, 19 maize NAC genes grouped with published stress-responsive genes from other plants were found to contain putative stress-responsive cis-elements in their promoter regions. All these stress-responsive genes belonged to the group d (stress-related). Further, these genes showed differential expression patterns over time in response to drought treatments by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Our results reveal a comprehensive overview of the maize NAC, and form the foundation for future functional research to uncover their roles in maize growth and development.

    • Genomewide analysis of MATE-type gene family in maize reveals microsynteny and their expression patterns under aluminum treatment

      HUASHENG ZHU JIANDONG WU YINGLI JIANG JING JIN WEI ZHOU YU WANG GUOMIN HAN YANG ZHAO BEIJIU CHENG

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      Multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) proteins are a group of secondary active transporters, which widely exist in all living organisms and play important role in the detoxication of endogenous secondary metabolites and exogenous agents. However, to date, no systematic and comprehensive study of this family is reported in maize. Here, a total of 49 MATE genes (ZmMATE) were identified and divided into seven groups by phylogenetic analysis. Conserved intro–exon structures and motif compositions were investigated in these genes. Results by gene locations indicated that these genes were unevenly distributed among all 10 chromosomes. Tandem and segmental duplications appeared to contribute to the expansion and evolution of this gene family. The Ka / Ks ratios suggested that the ZmMATE has undergone large-scale purifying selection on the maize genome. Interspecies microsynteny analysis revealed that there were independent gene duplication events of 10 ZmMATE. In addition, most maize MATE genes exhibited different expression profiles in diverse tissues and developmental stages. Sixteen MATE genes were chosen for further quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed differential expression patterns in response to aluminum treatment. These results provide a useful clue for future studies on the identification of MATE genes and functional analysis of MATE proteins in maize

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