Veratrum-type steroidal alkaloids (VSA) are the major bioactive ingredients that strongly determine the pharmacological activities of Veratrum nigrum
. Biosynthesis of VSA at the molecular and genetic levels is not well understood. Next-generation sequencing of representational difference analysis (RDA) products after elicitation and precursor feeding was applied to identify candidate genes involved in VSA biosynthesis. A total of 12,048 contigs with a median length of 280 bases were received in three RDA libraries obtained after application of methyl jasmonate, squalene and cholesterol. The comparative analysis of annotated sequences was effective in identifying candidate genes. GABAT2 transaminase and hydroxylases active at C-22, C-26, C-11, and C-16 positions in late stages of jervine biosynthesis were selected. Moreover, genes coding pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase and enzymes from the short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases family (SDR) associated with the reduction reactions of the VSA biosynthesis process were proposed. The data collected contribute to better understanding of jervine biosynthesis and may accelerate implementation of biotechnological methods of VSA biosynthesis.
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