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Comprehensive Transcriptome Analysis Revealed the Effects of the Light Quality, Light Intensity, and Photoperiod on Phlorizin Accumulation in Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd.

1
College of Life Sciences, North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan 063210, China
2
College of Pharmacy, North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan 063210, China
3
College of Agriculture and Food Engineering, Baise University, Baise 533000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 995; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110995
Received: 8 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd. is an important medicinal plant species grown in southern China, with phlorizin as its main active substance. The effects of light conditions on phlorizin biosynthesis in L. polystachyus remain unclear. Thus, we analyzed the transcriptomes of L. polystachyus plants cultivated under diverse light qualities, light intensities, and photoperiods. The light treatments resulted in 5977–8027 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which were functionally annotated based on the gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases. Genes encoding transcription factors from 89 families were differentially expressed after the light treatments, implying these transcription factors are photoresponsive. Phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and 4-coumarate-CoA ligase (4CL) are the key enzymes for the accumulation of phlorizin. The transcription levels of PAL2, PAL, 4CL1 (DN121614), 4CLL7, and 4CL1 (DN102161) were positively correlated with phlorizin accumulation, suggesting that these genes are important for phlorizin biosynthesis. An ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography method was used to quantify the phlorizin content. Phlorizin accumulated in response to the green light treatment and following appropriate decreases in the light intensity or appropriate increases in the duration of the light exposure. The green light, 2000 lx, and 3000 lx treatments increased the PAL activity of L. polystachyus, but the regulatory effects of the light intensity treatments on PAL activity were relatively weak. This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of the light-induced transcriptome of L. polystachyus. The study results may form the basis of future studies aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanism underlying phlorizin biosynthesis in L. polystachyus. Moreover, this study may be relevant for clarifying the regulatory effects of light on the abundance of bioactive components in medicinal plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: light stimulation; transcriptome; gene regulation; Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd.; phlorizin light stimulation; transcriptome; gene regulation; Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd.; phlorizin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Lin, L.; Long, Y.; Guo, H.; Wang, Z.; Cui, M.; Huang, J.; Xing, Z. Comprehensive Transcriptome Analysis Revealed the Effects of the Light Quality, Light Intensity, and Photoperiod on Phlorizin Accumulation in Lithocarpus polystachyus Rehd.. Forests 2019, 10, 995.

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