Location: Plant Genetics Research2013 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Identification and characterization of key genetic components regulating lipid metabolic pathways in plants.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Soybean transcription factor regulatory gene networks and genes potentially regulated by miRNAs have been predicted by a co-expression analysis and a miRNA target prediction program. The project will select a number of genes potentially regulating seed storage oil production, construct a variety of plant expression vectors for over-expressing or silencing the activities of those genes, transform those vectors into plants, measure their oil content and composition in transgenic seeds to validate those gene functions.
3. Progress Report:
So far, ARS scientists in St. Louis, MO have predicted a number of transcript factor gene regulatory networks and discovered cotyledon miRNA genes. The project was proposed to apply a variety of data mining strategies to select a manageable number of transcription factor genes and miRNA genes that are most likely to regulate oil composition and content, and to further generate transgenic plants to validate their functions and their underlying regulatory networks. We compared transcriptomes of soybean with publically available transcriptomes of Arabidopsis over the course seed development as the first phase of the project. We conducted further bioinformatic analysis of the transcriptomic data and identified a set of Arabidopsis and soybean gene pairs that are differentially regulated over the course of seed development and share strong similarity in protein sequences and expression patterns. They are strong candidate genes regulating seed development and seed quality traits. We have been developing data mining strategies and bioinformatic algorithms to select top miRNA and transcription factor genes for validating their functions and their underlying regulatory networks using transgenic approaches.