The tomato microarray TOM1 offers the possibility to monitor the levels of several thousand transcripts in parallel. The microelements represented on this tomato microarray have been putatively assigned to unigenes, and organised in functional classes using the MapMan ontology (Thimm et al., 2004. Plant J. 37: 914–939). This ontology was initially developed for use with the Arabidopsis ATH1 array, has a low level of redundancy, and can be combined with the MapMan software to provide a biologically structured overview of changes of transcripts, metabolites and enzyme activities. Use of this application is illustrated using three case studies with published or novel TOM1 array data sets for Solanaceous species. Comparison of previously reported data on transcript levels in potato leaves in the middle of the day and the middle of the night identified coordinated changes in the levels of transcripts of genes involved in various metabolic pathways and cellular events. Comparison with diurnal changes of gene expression in Arabidopsis revealed common features, illustrating how MapMan can be used to compare responses in different organisms. Comparison of transcript levels in new experiments performed on the leaves of the cultivated tomato S. lycopersicum and the wild relative S. pennellii revealed a general decrease of levels of transcripts of genes involved in terpene and, phenylpropanoid metabolism as well as chorismate biosynthesis in the crop compared to the wild relative. This matches the recently reported decrease of the levels of secondary metabolites in the latter. In the third case study, new expression array data for two genotypes deficient in TCA cycle enzymes is analysed to show that these genotypes have elevated levels of transcripts associated with photosynthesis. This in part explains the previously documented enhanced rates of photosynthesis in these genotypes. Since the Solanaceous MapMan is intended to be a community resource it will be regularly updated on improvements in tomato gene annotation and transcript profiling resources.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 8, 2005
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