Polyploid plants are more often invasive species than their diploid counterparts. As the invasiveness of a species is often linked to its production of allelopathic compounds, we hypothesize that differences in invasive ability between cytotypes may be due to their different ability to synthesize allelopathic metabolites. We test this using two cytotypes of Solidago canadensis
as the model and use integrated metabolome and transcriptome data to resolve the question. Metabolome analysis identified 122 metabolites about flavonoids, phenylpropanoids and terpenoids, of which 57 were differentially accumulated between the two cytotypes. Transcriptome analysis showed that many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were enriched in ‘biosynthesis of secondary metabolites’, ‘plant hormone signal transduction’, and ‘MAPK signaling’, covering most steps of plant allelopathic metabolite synthesis. Importantly, the differentially accumulated flavonoids, phenylpropanoids and terpenoids were closely correlated with related DEGs. Furthermore, 30 miRNAs were found to be negatively associated with putative targets, and they were thought to be involved in target gene expression regulation. These miRNAs probably play a vital role in the regulation of metabolite synthesis in hexaploid S. canadensis
. The two cytotypes of S. canadensis
differ in the allelopathic metabolite synthesis and this difference is associated with regulation of expression of a range of genes. These results suggest that changes in gene expression may underlying the increased invasive potential of the polyploidy.
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