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Analysis of the Nicotiana tabacum Stigma/Style Transcriptome Reveals Gene Expression Differences between Wet and Dry Stigma Species

Quiapim, Andréa C., Brito, Michael S., Bernardes, Luciano A.S., daSilva, Idalete, Malavazi, Iran, DePaoli, Henrique C., Molfetta-Machado, Jeanne B., Giuliatti, Silvana, Goldman, Gustavo H., Goldman, Maria Helena S.
Plant physiology 2009 v.149 no.3 pp. 1211-1230
Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana tabacum, databases, defense mechanisms, expressed sequence tags, gene expression, genes, plants, pollination, sequence homology, stigma, surveys, tobacco, transcriptome
The success of plant reproduction depends on pollen-pistil interactions occurring at the stigma/style. These interactions vary depending on the stigma type: wet or dry. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) represents a model of wet stigma, and its stigmas/styles express genes to accomplish the appropriate functions. For a large-scale study of gene expression during tobacco pistil development and preparation for pollination, we generated 11,216 high-quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from stigmas/styles and created the TOBEST database. These ESTs were assembled in 6,177 clusters, from which 52.1% are pistil transcripts/genes of unknown function. The 21 clusters with the highest number of ESTs (putative higher expression levels) correspond to genes associated with defense mechanisms or pollen-pistil interactions. The database analysis unraveled tobacco sequences homologous to the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genes involved in specifying pistil identity or determining normal pistil morphology and function. Additionally, 782 independent clusters were examined by macroarray, revealing 46 stigma/style preferentially expressed genes. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction experiments validated the pistil-preferential expression for nine out of 10 genes tested. A search for these 46 genes in the Arabidopsis pistil data sets demonstrated that only 11 sequences, with putative equivalent molecular functions, are expressed in this dry stigma species. The reverse search for the Arabidopsis pistil genes in the TOBEST exposed a partial overlap between these dry and wet stigma transcriptomes. The TOBEST represents the most extensive survey of gene expression in the stigmas/styles of wet stigma plants, and our results indicate that wet and dry stigmas/styles express common as well as distinct genes in preparation for the pollination process.