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Open Access Research article

Analysis of tall fescue ESTs representing different abiotic stresses, tissue types and developmental stages

MA Rouf Mian15, Yan Zhang1, Zeng-Yu Wang1, Ji-Yi Zhang1, Xiaofei Cheng1, Lei Chen1, Konstantin Chekhovskiy1, Xinbin Dai2, Chunhong Mao3, Foo Cheung4, Xuechun Zhao2, Ji He2, Angela D Scott2, Christopher D Town4 and Gregory D May26*

  • * Corresponding author: Gregory D May gdm@ncgr.org

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Forage Improvement Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73402, USA

2 Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73402, USA

3 Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, 1750 Kraft Drive Suite 1400, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

4 The J. Craig Venter Institute, 9712 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA

5 USDA-ARS, The Ohio State University & OARDC, 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, OH 44691, USA

6 National Center for Genome Resources, 2935 Rodeo Park Drive East, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA

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BMC Plant Biology 2008, 8:27  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-27

Published: 4 March 2008

Abstract

Background

Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb) is a major cool season forage and turf grass species grown in the temperate regions of the world. In this paper we report the generation of a tall fescue expressed sequence tag (EST) database developed from nine cDNA libraries representing tissues from different plant organs, developmental stages, and abiotic stress factors. The results of inter-library and library-specific in silico expression analyses of these ESTs are also reported.

Results

A total of 41,516 ESTs were generated from nine cDNA libraries of tall fescue representing tissues from different plant organs, developmental stages, and abiotic stress conditions. The Festuca Gene Index (FaGI) has been established. To date, this represents the first publicly available tall fescue EST database. In silico gene expression studies using these ESTs were performed to understand stress responses in tall fescue. A large number of ESTs of known stress response gene were identified from stressed tissue libraries. These ESTs represent gene homologues of heat-shock and oxidative stress proteins, and various transcription factor protein families. Highly expressed ESTs representing genes of unknown functions were also identified in the stressed tissue libraries.

Conclusion

FaGI provides a useful resource for genomics studies of tall fescue and other closely related forage and turf grass species. Comparative genomic analyses between tall fescue and other grass species, including ryegrasses (Lolium sp.), meadow fescue (F. pratensis) and tetraploid fescue (F. arundinacea var glaucescens) will benefit from this database. These ESTs are an excellent resource for the development of simple sequence repeat (SSR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) PCR-based molecular markers.