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Chelidonium majus is a traditional medicinal plant, which commonly known as a rich resource for the major benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs), including morphine, sanguinarine, and berberine. To understand the biosynthesis of C. majus BIAs, we performed de novo transcriptome sequencing of its leaf and root tissues using Illumina technology. Following comprehensive evaluation of de novo transcriptome assemblies produced with five programs including Trinity, Bridger, BinPacker, IDBA-tran, and Velvet/Oases using a series of k-mer sizes (from 25 to 91), BinPacker was found to produce the best assembly using a k-mer of 25. This study reports the results of differential gene expression (DGE), functional annotation, gene ontology (GO) analysis, classification of transcription factor (TF)s, and SSR and miRNA discovery. Our DGE analysis identified 6,028 transcripts that were up-regulated in the leaf, and 4,722 transcripts that were up-regulated in the root. Further investigations showed that most of the genes involved in the BIA biosynthetic pathway are significantly expressed in the root compared to the leaf. GO analysis showed that the predominant GO domain is "cellular component", while TF analysis found bHLH to be the most highly represented TF family. Our study further identified 10 SSRs, out of a total of 39,841, that showed linkage to five unigenes encoding enzymes in the BIA pathway, and 10 conserved miRNAs that were previously not detected in this plant. The comprehensive transcriptome information presented herein provides a foundation for further explorations on study of the molecular mechanisms of BIA synthesis in C. majus.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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