Lily tepals have a short lifespan. Once the tepals senesce, the ornamental value of the flower is lost. Some cultivars have attractive purple ovaries and fruits which greatly enhance the ornamental value of Asiatic hybrid lilies. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Asiatic hybrid lily ovaries. To investigate the transcriptional network that governs purple ovary coloration in Asiatic hybrid lilies, we obtained transcriptome data from green ovaries (S1) and purple ovaries (S2) of Asiatic “Tiny Padhye”. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed 4228 differentially expressed genes. Differential expression analysis revealed that ten unigenes including four CHS
genes, one CHI
gene, one F3H
gene, one F3′H
gene, one DFR
gene, one UFGT
gene, and one 3RT
gene were significantly up-regulated in purple ovaries. One MYB
, was identified as a key transcription factor determining the distribution of anthocyanins in Asiatic hybrid lily ovaries. Further qPCR results showed unigenes related to anthocyanin biosynthesis were highly expressed in purple ovaries of three purple-ovaried Asiatic hybrid lilies at stages 2 and 3, while they showed an extremely low level of expression in ovaries of three green-ovaried Asiatic hybrid lilies during all developmental stages. In addition, shading treatment significantly decreased pigment accumulation by suppressing the expression of several unigenes related to anthocyanin biosynthesis in ovaries of Asiatic “Tiny Padhye”. Lastly, a total of 15,048 Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) were identified in 13,710 sequences, and primer pairs for SSRs were designed. The results could further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Asiatic hybrid lily ovaries.
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