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De novo transcriptome assembly and comparative analysis between male and benzyladenine-induced female inflorescence buds of Plukenetia volubilis

First Author: Fu QT

Plukenetia volubilis is a promising oilseed crop due to its seeds being rich in unsaturated fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid. P. volubilis is monoecious, with separate male and female flowers on the same inflorescence. We previously reported that male flowers were converted to female flowers by exogenous cytokinin (6-benzyladenine, 6-BA) treatment in P. volubilis. To identify candidate genes associated with floral sex differentiation of P. volubilis, we performed de novo transcriptome assembly and comparative analysis on control male inflorescence buds (MIB) and female inflorescence buds (FIB) induced by 6-BA using Illumina sequencing technology. A total of 57,664 unigenes with an average length of 979 bp were assembled from 104.1 million clean reads, and 45,235 (78.45%) unigenes were successfully annotated in the public databases. Notably, Gene Ontology analyses revealed that 4193 and 3880 unigenes were enriched in the categories of reproduction and reproductive processes, respectively. Differential expression analysis identified 1385 differentially expressed unigenes between MIB and FIB, of which six unigenes related to cytokinin and auxin signaling pathways and 16 important transcription factor (TF) genes including MADS-box family members were identified. In particular, several unigenes encoding important TFs, such as homologs of CRABS CLAW, RADIALIS-like 1, RADIALIS-like 2, HECATE 2, WUSCHEL-related homeobox 9, and SUPERMAN, were expressed at higher levels in FIB than in MIB. The expression patterns of the 36 selected unigenes revealed by transcriptome analysis were successfully validated by quantitative real-time PCR. This study not only provides comprehensive gene expression profiles of P. volubilis inflorescence buds, but also lays the foundation for research on the molecular mechanism of floral sex determination in P. volubilis and other monoecious plants.

Contact the author: Xu ZF
Page Number: 107-118
Impact Factor: 3.121
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PubYear: Feb 2018
Volume: 221
Publication Name: Journal of Plant Physiology
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