Heterosis manifestation during early Arabidopsis seedling development is characterized by intermediate gene expression and enhanced metabolic activity in the hybrids

Rhonda C. Meyer, Hanna Witucka-Wall, Martina Becher, Anna Blacha, Anastassia Boudichevskaia, Peter Dörmann, Oliver Fiehn, Svetlana Friedel, Maria Von Korff, Jan Lisec, Michael Melzer, Dirk Repsilber, Renate Schmidt, Matthias Scholz, Joachim Selbig, Lothar Willmitzer, Thomas Altmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Heterosis-associated cellular and molecular processes were analyzed in seeds and seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions Col-0 and C24 and their heterotic hybrids. Microscopic examination revealed no advantages in terms of hybrid mature embryo organ sizes or cell numbers. Increased cotyledon sizes were detectable 4 days after sowing. Growth heterosis results from elevated cell sizes and numbers, and is well established at 10 days after sowing. The relative growth rates of hybrid seedlings were most enhanced between 3 and 4 days after sowing. Global metabolite profiling and targeted fatty acid analysis revealed maternal inheritance patterns for a large proportion of metabolites in the very early stages. During developmental progression, the distribution shifts to dominant, intermediate and heterotic patterns, with most changes occurring between 4 and 6 days after sowing. The highest incidence of heterotic patterns coincides with establishment of size differences at 4 days after sowing. In contrast, overall transcript patterns at 4, 6 and 10 days after sowing are characterized by intermediate to dominant patterns, with parental transcript levels showing the largest differences. Overall, the results suggest that, during early developmental stages, intermediate gene expression and higher metabolic activity in the hybrids compared to the parents lead to better resource efficiency, and therefore enhanced performance in the hybrids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-683
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Journal
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • biomass
  • heterosis
  • metabolite profiling
  • morphological analysis
  • seedlings
  • transcript profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics

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