Symbiotic legume nodules and lateral roots arise away from the root meristem via dedifferentiation events. While these organs share some morphological and developmental similarities, whether legume nodules are modified lateral roots is an open question. We dissected emerging nodules, mature nodules, emerging lateral roots and young lateral roots, and constructed strand-specific RNA sequencing (RNAseq) libraries using polyA-enriched RNA preparations. Root sections above and below these organs, devoid of any lateral organs, were used to construct respective control tissue libraries. High sequence quality, predominant mapping to coding sequences, and consistency between replicates indicated that the RNAseq libraries were of a very high quality. We identified genes enriched in emerging nodules, mature nodules, emerging lateral roots and young lateral roots in soybean by comparing global gene expression profiles between each of these organs and adjacent root segments. Potential uses for this high quality transcriptome data set include generation of global gene regulatory networks to identify key regulators; metabolic pathway analyses and comparative analyses of key gene families to discover organ-specific biological processes; and identification of organ-specific alternate spliced transcripts. When combined with other similar datasets, especially from leguminous plants, these analyses can help answer questions on the evolutionary origins of root nodules and relationships between the development of different plant lateral organs.
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