Data from: Sporobolus stapfianus: Insights into desiccation tolerance in the resurrection grasses from linking transcriptomics to metabolomics

Non-targeted metabolomics, combined with transcriptomics via a NimbleGen array platform, are used to study how gene expression and metabolite profiles can be linked to generate a more detailed mechanistic appreciation of the cellular response to both desiccation and rehydration in the C4 resurrection grass, Sporobolus stapfianus Gandoger, as a member of a group of important forage grasses.

Agroecosystems & Environment

Data from: Genome-Wide Association Mapping of Loci Associated with Plant Growth and Forage Production under Salt Stress in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

Salinity tolerance is highly desirable to sustain alfalfa production in marginal lands that have been rendered saline. In this study, we used a diverse panel of 198 alfalfa accessions for mapping loci associated with plant growth and forage production under salt stress using genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The plants were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS). A greenhouse procedure was used for phenotyping four agronomic and physiological traits affected by salt stress, including dry weight (DW), plant height (PH), leaf chlorophyll content (LCC), and stomatal conductance (SC). For each trait, a stress susceptibility index (SSI) was used to evaluate plant performance under stressed and non-stressed conditions. Marker-trait association identified a total of 42 markers significantly associated with salt tolerance. They were located on all chromosomes except chromosome 2 based on the alignment of their flanking sequences to the reference genome (Medicago truncatula). Of those identified, 13 were associated with multiple traits. Several loci identified in the present study were also identified in previous reports. BLAST search revealed that 19 putative candidate genes linked to 24 significant markers. Among them, B3 DNA-binding protein, Thiaminepyrophosphokinase and IQ calmodulin-binding motif protein were identified among multiple traits in the present and previous studies. With further investigation, these markers and candidates would be useful for developing markers for marker-assisted selection in breeding programs to improve alfalfa cultivars with enhanced tolerance to salt stress.

Genomics and Genetics

Data from: Identification of Single-Nucleotide Polymorphic Loci Associated with Biomass Yield under Water Deficit in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) Using Genome-Wide Sequencing and Association Mapping

Alfalfa is a worldwide grown forage crop and is important due to its high biomass production and nutritional value. However, the production of alfalfa is challenged by adverse environmental factors such as drought and other stresses. Developing drought resistance alfalfa is an important breeding target for enhancing alfalfa productivity in arid and semi-arid regions. In the present study, we used genotyping-by-sequencing and genome-wide association to identify marker loci associated with biomass yield under drought in the field in a panel of diverse germplasm of alfalfa.

Genomics and Genetics

Data from: Chondroitin sulfate disaccharides modified the structure and function of the murine gut microbiome under healthy and stressed conditions

Chondroitin sulfate (CS) has been widely used for medical and nutraceutical purposes due to its roles in maintaining tissue structural integrity. We investigated if CS disaccharides may act as a bioactive compound and modulate gut microbial composition in mice. Our data show that CS disaccharides supplementation for 16 days significantly reduced blood LPS in the mice experiencing exhaustive exercise stress. CS disaccharides partially restored total fecal short-chain fatty acids from the level significantly repressed in mice under the stress. Our findings demonstrated that CS was likely butyrogenic and resulted in a significant increase in fecal butyrate concentration. CS disaccharides had a profound impact on gut microbial composition, affecting the abundance of 13.6% and 7.3% Operational Taxonomic Units in fecal microbial communities in healthy and stressed mice, respectively. CS disaccharides reduced the prevalence of inflammatory Proteobacteria. Together, our findings demonstrated that CS may ameliorate stress-induced intestinal inflammation. Furthermore, CS significantly increased intestinal Bacteroides acidifaciens population, indirectly exerting its immunomodulatory effect on the intestine. CS disaccharides had a significant impact on a broad range of biological pathways under stressed condition, such as ABC transporters, two-component systems, and carbohydrate metabolism. Our results will facilitate the development of CS as a bioactive nutraceutical.

Genomics and Genetics