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Evaluation of reference genes for normalizing RT-qPCR in leaves and suspension cells of Cephalotaxus hainanensis under various stimuli

Sun, Huapeng, Jiang, Xuefei, Sun, Mengli, Cong, Hanqing, Qiao, Fei
Plant methods 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 31
Cephalotaxus, algorithms, gene expression, genes, leaves, medicinal plants, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcription, transcriptome
BACKGROUND: Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) is a widely used approach for investigating gene expression levels in plants because of its high reproducibility, sensitivity, accuracy and rapidness. Evaluation of reference genes for normalizing RT-qPCR data is a necessary step, especially in new plant varieties. Cephalotaxus hainanensis is a precious medicinal plant belonging to the family of Cephalotaxaceae and no RT-qPCR studies have been reported on it. RESULTS: In this study, 9 candidate reference genes were selected from the transcriptome data of C. hainanensis; 3 statistical algorithms (geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper) were applied to evaluate their expression stabilities through 180 samples under 6 stimuli treatments in leaves and leaf-derived suspension cultured cells; a comprehensive stabilities ranking was also performed by RefFinder. The results showed that suitable reference genes in C. hainanensis should be selected for normalization relative to different experimental sets. 18S showed a higher stability than other candidate reference genes which ranked at the top two suitable genes under all experimental setups in this study. CONCLUSION: This study is the first to evaluate the stability of reference genes in C. hainanensis and supply an important foundation to use the RT-qPCR for an accurate and far-reaching gene expression analysis in C. hainanensis.