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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #410440

Research Project: Improvement of Disease and Pest Resistance in Barley, Durum, Oat, and Wheat Using Genetics and Genomics

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Development of epigenetic landscape and gene expression atlas of oats

item AJAYI-MOSES, OLUWATAYO - North Dakota State University
item GUDI, SANTOSH - North Dakota State University
item Carlson, Craig
item Esvelt Klos, Kathy
item Gupta, Rajeev
item Nandety, Raja Sekhar

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2023
Publication Date: 1/15/2024
Citation: Ajayi-Moses, O., Gudi, S., Carlson, C.H., Esvelt Klos, K.L., Gupta, R., Nandety, R. 2024. Development of epigenetic landscape and gene expression atlas of oats (abstract). Plant and Animal Conference. Poster No. PO0359.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Oat (Avena sativa L.) is an important crop due to its low carbon footprint and health-enhancing attributes, notably its potential in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stabilizing the glycemic index. However, oat production is faced with significant impediments in the form of biotic stress (e. g., crown rust and stem rust) as well as abiotic stress (e. g., heat and drought). Epigenetic modifications play a crucial role in regulating gene expression including those responsible for plant development and adaptive responses to environmental stresses. Exploring the epigenetic landscape and gene expression atlas offers a glimpse into the gene networks and their dynamics governing resistance to plant stress response in oats. Our study aims to understand the epigenetic variation of a diverse array of oat landraces held by the NSGC to deduce correlations with observed stress response phenotypes. Phenotypic plasticity observed varies from susceptibility to resistance in stem rust and crown rust, while abiotic stress responses range from susceptibility to tolerance. In the present study, we investigated the seedling response for drought stress tolerance based on wilting indices and drought tolerance indices (i.e., 0 to 6 scale). We found differential response of oat lines for drought tolerance with at least one genotype Clav 1943 showing tolerance (wilting score <2). We have also identified resistance to crown rust (Clav 1712; Clav 1943; Clav 1945; PI244478; PI266283 and PI287291) and lines with less disease severity to stem rust (Clav 1703, Clav 1943 and Clav 754). We are currently using the same lines to conduct whole-genome bisulfite sequencing. Our initial results indicate a dynamic shift in the methylation patterns corresponding to these oat lines that display a variety of stress response phenotypes. We observe over 90% mapping rate of methylation reads to the reference genome with substantial cytosine methylation variations (~85% mCpG, ~% mCHG, ~7% mCHH). Differential methylation patterns in response to crown rust, heat, and drought stress will be combined with gene expression data, and GBS datasets to provide a comprehensive picture of the oat epigenetic landscape. These results will help us generate genetic resources such as epiSNPs, polymorphic markers for predicting performance in early generation material.