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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 5970-5987; doi:10.3390/ijms15045970

Triterpenoid Saponin Biosynthetic Pathway Profiling and Candidate Gene Mining of the Ilex asprella Root Using RNA-Seq

Research Center of Chinese Herbal Resource Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicinal Resource from Lingnan, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510006, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 January 2014 / Revised: 23 March 2014 / Accepted: 26 March 2014 / Published: 9 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology)
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Ilex asprella, which contains abundant α-amyrin type triterpenoid saponins, is an anti-influenza herbal drug widely used in south China. In this work, we first analysed the transcriptome of the I. asprella root using RNA-Seq, which provided a dataset for functional gene mining. mRNA was isolated from the total RNA of the I. asprella root and reverse-transcribed into cDNA. Then, the cDNA library was sequenced using an Illumina HiSeq™ 2000, which generated 55,028,452 clean reads. De novo assembly of these reads generated 51,865 unigenes, in which 39,269 unigenes were annotated (75.71% yield). According to the structures of the triterpenoid saponins of I. asprella, a putative biosynthetic pathway downstream of 2,3-oxidosqualene was proposed and candidate unigenes in the transcriptome data that were potentially involved in the pathway were screened using homology-based BLAST and phylogenetic analysis. Further amplification and functional analysis of these putative unigenes will provide insight into the biosynthesis of Ilex triterpenoid saponins. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ilex asprella; triterpenoid saponins; biosynthesis; α-amyrin; RNA-Seq Ilex asprella; triterpenoid saponins; biosynthesis; α-amyrin; RNA-Seq

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zheng, X.; Xu, H.; Ma, X.; Zhan, R.; Chen, W. Triterpenoid Saponin Biosynthetic Pathway Profiling and Candidate Gene Mining of the Ilex asprella Root Using RNA-Seq. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 5970-5987.

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