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Unigene-based RNA-seq provides insights on drought stress responses in Marsdenia tenacissima

By Heng-Ling Meng, Wei Zhang, Guang-Hui Zhang, Jian-Jun Wang, Zhen-Gui Meng, Guang-Qiang Long, Sheng-Chao Yang

Posted 13 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/390963 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202848)

Marsdenia tenacissima is a well-known anti-cancer medicinal plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. Drought is a major threat for its production and no information on its transcriptional responses to drought stress is available. In this study, cDNA libraries of control (CK), drought stress (T1), and re-watering (T2) were constructed and HiSeq 2000 sequencing were performed on illumina platform. There had 43,129,228, 47,116,844 and 42,815,454 clean reads with the Q20 value of 98.06, 98.04 and 97.88. A total of 8672, 6043, 6537 differential expressed genes (DEGs) were identified when CK vs T1, CK vs T2, and T1 vs T2, respectively. In addition, 1039, 1016 and 980 TFs were identified in CK, T1 and T2, respectively. Among them, 363, 267 and 299 TFs were identified as DEGs in CK vs T1, CK vs T2 and T1 vs T2, respectively. These differential expressed TFs mainly belong to bHLH, bZIP, C2H2, ERF, MYB, MYB-related, and NAC families. Interestingly, a comparative analysis of CK vs T1and T1 vs T2 found that 1,174 up-regulated and 2,344 down-regulated genes under drought stress presented an opposite expression pattern after re-watering. Among the 1,174 up-regulated genes by drought stress, 64 genes were homologous to the known functional genes with directly protecting plants against drought stress. Furthermore, 44 protein kinases and 38 TFs with opposite expression pattern under drought stress and re-watering were identified, which are most possibly candidate regulators for drought stress resistance in M. tenacissima. Our study provide the first characterization of M. tenacissima transcriptome in response to drought stress, and will serve as a useful resource for future unraveling the functions of these candidate protein kinases and TFs involved in M. tenacissima drought stress resistance.

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