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Physiological and Transcriptome Analysis of a Yellow-Green Leaf Mutant in Birch (<i>Betula platyphylla</i> × <i>B. Pendula</i>)

Gang, Huixin, Liu, Guifeng, Chen, Su, Jiang, Jing
Forests 2019 v.10 no.2
Arabidopsis thaliana, Betula pendula subsp. mandshurica, Oryza sativa, Zea mays, biosynthesis, chlorophyll, chloroplasts, color, corn, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, herbaceous plants, leaves, light harvesting complex, mutants, mutation, phenotype, photosynthesis, rice, transcriptomics, trees
Chlorophyll (Chl)-deficient mutants are ideal materials for the study of Chl biosynthesis, chloroplast development, and photosynthesis. Although the genes encoding key enzymes related to Chl biosynthesis have been well-characterized in herbaceous plants, rice (Oryza sativa L.), Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), and maize (Zea mays L.), yellow-green leaf mutants have not yet been fully studied in tree species. In this work, we explored the molecular mechanism of the leaf color formation in a yellow-green leaf mutant (yl). We investigated the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between yl and control plants (wild type birch (WT) and BpCCR1 overexpression line 11, (C11)) by transcriptome sequencing. Approximately 1163 genes (874 down-regulated and 289 up-regulated) and 930 genes (755 down-regulated and 175 up-regulated) were found to be differentially expressed in yl compared with WT and C11, respectively. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis for DEGs revealed that photosynthesis antenna proteins represent the most significant enriched pathway. The expressions of photosynthesis antenna proteins are crucial to the leaf color formation in yl. We also found that Chl accumulate, leaf anatomical structure, photosynthesis, and growth were affected in yl. Taken together, our results not only provide the difference of phenomenal, physiological, and gene expression characteristics in leaves between yl mutant and control plants, but also provide a new insight into the mutation underlying the chlorotic leaf phenotype in birch.