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Transcriptome analysis of Polygonatum cyrtonema Hua: identification of genes involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis

Wang, Chenkai, Peng, Daiyin, Zhu, Jinhang, Zhao, Derui, Shi, Yuanyuan, Zhang, Shengxiang, Ma, Kelong, Wu, Jiawen, Huang, Luqi
Plant methods 2019 v.15 no.1 pp. 65
Oriental traditional medicine, Polygonatum cyrtonema, biochemical pathways, biosynthesis, data collection, databases, gene expression regulation, glycosyltransferases, herbs, leaves, messenger RNA, polysaccharides, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, rhizomes, secondary metabolites, sequence analysis, tissues, transcription factors, transcriptome, transcriptomics, unigenes, uridine diphosphate
BACKGROUND: Polygonatum cyrtonema Hua (P. cyrtonema) is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. Polysaccharides in P. cyrtonema plants comprise a class of important secondary metabolites and exhibit a broad range of pharmacological functions. RESULTS: In order to identify genes involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis, we performed RNA sequencing analysis of leaf, root, and rhizome tissues of P. cyrtonema. A total of 164,573 unigenes were obtained by assembling transcripts from all three tissues and 86,063 of these were annotated in public databases. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were determined based on expression profile analysis, and DEG levels in rhizome tissues were then compared with their counterparts in leaf and root tissues. This analysis revealed numerous genes that were either up-regulated or uniquely expressed in the rhizome. Multiple genes encoding important enzymes, such as UDP glycosyltransferases (UGTs), or transcription factors involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis were identified and further analyzed, while a few genes encoding key enzymes were experimentally validated using quantitative real-time PCR. CONCLUSION: Our results substantially expand the public transcriptome dataset of P. cyrtonema and provide valuable clues for the identification of candidate genes involved in metabolic pathways.