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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(9), 1923; doi:10.3390/ijms18091923

Structure of Pigment Metabolic Pathways and Their Contributions to White Tepal Color Formation of Chinese Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis cv Jinzhanyintai

Center for Molecular Cell and Systems Biology, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Haixia Applied Plant Systems Biology, College of Life Sciences, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
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Abstract

Chinese narcissus (Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis) is one of the ten traditional flowers in China and a famous bulb flower in the world flower market. However, only white color tepals are formed in mature flowers of the cultivated varieties, which constrains their applicable occasions. Unfortunately, for lack of genome information of narcissus species, the explanation of tepal color formation of Chinese narcissus is still not clear. Concerning no genome information, the application of transcriptome profile to dissect biological phenomena in plants was reported to be effective. As known, pigments are metabolites of related metabolic pathways, which dominantly decide flower color. In this study, transcriptome profile and pigment metabolite analysis methods were used in the most widely cultivated Chinese narcissus “Jinzhanyintai” to discover the structure of pigment metabolic pathways and their contributions to white tepal color formation during flower development and pigmentation processes. By using comparative KEGG pathway enrichment analysis, three pathways related to flavonoid, carotenoid and chlorophyll pigment metabolism showed significant variations. The structure of flavonoids metabolic pathway was depicted, but, due to the lack of F3ʹ5ʹH gene; the decreased expression of C4H, CHS and ANS genes; and the high expression of FLS gene, the effect of this pathway to synthesize functional anthocyanins in tepals was weak. Similarly, the expression of DXS, MCT and PSY genes in carotenoids synthesis sub-pathway was decreased, while CCD1/CCD4 genes in carotenoids degradation sub-pathway was increased; therefore, the effect of carotenoids metabolic pathway to synthesize adequate color pigments in tepals is restricted. Interestingly, genes in chlorophyll synthesis sub-pathway displayed uniform down-regulated expression, while genes in heme formation and chlorophyll breakdown sub-pathways displayed up-regulated expression, which also indicates negative regulation of chlorophyll formation. Further, content change trends of various color metabolites detected by HPLC in tepals are consistent with the additive gene expression patterns in each pathway. Therefore, all three pathways exhibit negative control of color pigments synthesis in tepals, finally resulting in the formation of white tepals. Interestingly, the content of chlorophyll was more than 10-fold higher than flavonoids and carotenoids metabolites, which indicates that chlorophyll metabolic pathway may play the major role in deciding tepal color formation of Chinese narcissus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Chinese narcissus; metabolite analysis; pigment metabolic pathway; tepal pigmentation; comparative KEGG pathway enrichment Chinese narcissus; metabolite analysis; pigment metabolic pathway; tepal pigmentation; comparative KEGG pathway enrichment
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Ren, Y.; Yang, J.; Lu, B.; Jiang, Y.; Chen, H.; Hong, Y.; Wu, B.; Miao, Y. Structure of Pigment Metabolic Pathways and Their Contributions to White Tepal Color Formation of Chinese Narcissus tazetta var. chinensis cv Jinzhanyintai. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1923.

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