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Title: Identifying genetic networks associated with dormancy transitions in the perennial weed leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)

item Anderson, James

Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2007
Publication Date: 1/12/2008
Citation: Anderson, J.V. Identifying genetic networks associated with dormancy transitions in the perennial weed leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula). Plant and Animal Genome Conference. P824: Cellular Processes and Regulatory Networks.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Leafy spurge is an invasive perennial weed currently being used as a model to investigate weedy traits. Dormancy-imposed inhibition of vegetative reproduction from underground adventitious buds, located on the crown and lateral roots, is one of the key characteristics leading to the persistence of this perennial weed. Understanding how genetic networks interact to regulate well-defined phases of dormancy can be exploited to develop novel perennial weed control strategies. For this study, global patterns of gene expression were monitored using high-density (23 K element) Euphorbiaceae-specific microarrays containing both leafy spurge and cassava cDNA. Transcriptome profiles obtained from crown bud samples collected monthly (August - December) over a 5 year period identified 999 differentially expressed unigenes (p value>0.005). Of these 999 unigenes, 453 were linked to eukaryotic orthologous groups (KOGs). Protein interactions and functions associated with individual KOGs were obtained using the string program ( to visualize central nodes and edges of interest. Interactions of interest identified during the progressive seasonal transitions from para-, endo-, eco-dormancy included genes involved in cell cycle and mitosis, transcription, chromosome structure, carbon/protein metabolism, membrane modification, signal transduction, and redox/oxidative stress. However, when comparing the transition from para- to endo-dormancy vs. the transition from endo- to eco-dormancy, some differences were observed for specific KOGs representing the central nodes and edges of these functional groups. In particular, differences in specific transcription factors, cell cycle related proteins, chromosome structural proteins, and several growth regulators were observed when comparing the two different seasonal transitions in dormancy.