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Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed gamma-irradiation mediated disruption of floral integrator gene(s) leading to prolonged vegetative phase in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni

Singh, Gopal, Pal, Poonam, Masand, Mamta, Seth, Romit, Kumar, Ashok, Singh, Sanatsujat, Sharma, Ram Kumar
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2020 v.148 pp. 90-102
Stevia rebaudiana, biosynthesis, breeding, carbon dioxide fixation, cultivars, flowering, gamma radiation, gene editing, genes, genotype, glycosides, mutants, phenotype, photosynthesis, steviol, stevioside, sweeteners, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, transcriptomics
Stevia rebaudiana Bert. is getting global attention because of its ability to synthesize commercially important low/no calorie natural sweeteners (LNCSs) steviol glycosides (SGs). Considering, higher accumulation of SGs in vegetative phase followed by decrement during reproductive phase necessitate the understanding of different molecular components of floral transition to develop superior varieties/cultivars with prolonged vegetative phase in Stevia. Current comparative transcriptional analysis of low dose (5 kR) gamma-irradiated mutant genotype (SMG) with prolonged vegetative phase vis-à-vis background genotype (SBG) identified DGEs of major floral transition pathways, and expressed according to their physiological fate irrespective to SMG & SBG. Contrarily, reduced expression of floral integrator genes (FT and LEAFY) in mutant genotype suggests their involvement in prolonged vegetative phase phenotype. Likewise, GO and KEGG enrichment of photosynthesis and carbon assimilation efficiency might be associated with prolonged vegetative phase and higher accumulation of Stevioside content in mutant genotype. Furthermore, deviation of flowering related transcription factors (higher expressions except MIKS-type MADS-box SMG_PV compared to SBG_F) may possibly be correlated with low expression of floral integrator genes. Findings of current studies will facilitate the genetic manipulations and crop improvement efforts in Stevia through conventional breeding and genome editing approaches for increased SGs biosynthesis.