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Comparative transcript profiling of fertile and sterile flower buds from multiple-allele-inherited male sterility in Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L. ssp. pekinensis)

Zhou, Xue, Liu, Zhiyong, Ji, Ruiqin, Feng, Hui
Molecular genetics and genomics 2017 v.292 no.5 pp. 967-990
Chinese cabbage, auxins, biogenesis, buds, cell walls, gene expression regulation, genes, in situ hybridization, linkage groups, male fertility, messenger RNA, metabolism, pollen, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, starch, sucrose, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, transcriptomics
We studied the underlying causes of multiple-allele-inherited male sterility in Chinese cabbage (Brassica campestris L. ssp. pekinensis) by identifying differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to pollen sterility between fertile and sterile flower buds. In this work, we verified the stages of sterility microscopically and then performed transcriptome analysis of mRNA isolated from fertile and sterile buds using Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform sequencing. Approximately 80% of ~229 million high-quality paired-end reads were uniquely mapped to the reference genome. In sterile buds, 699 genes were significantly up-regulated and 4096 genes were down-regulated. Among the DEGs, 28 pollen cell wall-related genes, 54 transcription factor genes, 45 phytohormone-related genes, 20 anther and pollen-related genes, 212 specifically expressed transcripts, and 417 DEGs located on linkage group A07 were identified. Six transcription factor genes BrAMS, BrMS1, BrbHLH089, BrbHLH091, BrAtMYB103, and BrANAC025 were identified as putative sterility-related genes. The weak auxin signal that is regulated by BrABP1 may be one of the key factors causing pollen sterility observed here. Moreover, several significantly enriched GO terms such as “cell wall organization or biogenesis” (GO:0071554), “intrinsic to membrane” (GO:0031224), “integral to membrane” (GO:0016021), “hydrolase activity, acting on ester bonds” (GO:0016788), and one significantly enriched pathway “starch and sucrose metabolism” (ath00500) were identified in this work. qRT-PCR, PCR, and in situ hybridization experiments validated our RNA-seq transcriptome analysis as accurate and reliable. This study will lay the foundation for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) that underly sterility and provide valuable information for studying multiple-allele-inherited male sterility in the Chinese cabbage line ‘AB01’.