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Abstract Detail

The Greatest Opportunists of all: Celebrating 40 years of Job Kuijt’s

Yoder, John [1], Gunathilake, Pradeepa [2], Wu, Biao [2].

Comparative Genomics of Parasitic Plants.

The evolutionary origins of plant parasitism are inexorably coupled to the origin of haustorium development: indeed, “it is the organ which….embodies the very idea of parasitism” (Kuijt 1969). We are interested in identifying the genetic events that resulted over evolutionary time in the ability to initiate and develop haustoria. The Orobanchaceae is a fantastic family for parasite evolution studies because multiple stages in the evolution of parasitic plants are represented by extant species. We are part of a multi-investigator Parasitic Plant Genome Project whose goal is to sequence transcripts from several Orobanchaceae species and use comparative approaches to identify genes associated with plant parasitism at many levels. In my lab we are using a facultative parasite as a model because its genome is presumably less divergent than obligate or holoparasites from their common autotrophic ancestor. Triphysaria (previously Orthocarpus) is small genus of five cross-hybridizing species that grow as annual root parasites throughout the Pacific Coast. We are taking transcriptional approaches to identify parasitic plant genes associated with haustorium development. cDNAs were prepared from mRNA extracted from Triphysaria roots before and after exposure to host roots. Over one hundred thousand cDNAs were sequenced by the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute as part of their Community Sequencing Program. These sequences assembled into about 17,000 Tentative Consensus Sequences that represent parasitic plant genes expressed in roots during host factor recognition and early stages of haustorium development. These sequences are available through the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website. A combination of transcriptional profiling and functional annotations has provided us a set of genes that we hypothesize are functioning during early haustorium development.

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Related Links:
Yoder lab homepage

1 - University of California-Davis, Plant Sciences, Davis, CA, 95616, USA
2 - University of California-Davis

parasitic plant

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY11
Location: Cottonwood A/Snowbird Center
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM
Number: SY11003
Abstract ID:738