Transcriptomics analysis reveals the signal transduction mechanism of brassinolides in tea leaves and its regulation on the growth and development of Camellia sinensis

BMC Genomics. 2022 Jan 6;23(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s12864-021-08179-9.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a type of sterol plant hormone that play an important role in various biochemical and physiological reactions such as promoting cell growth, increasing biomass, and improving stress resistance.

RESULTS: To investigate the regulatory and molecular mechanism of BRs on the growth and development of tea plants (Camellia sinensis L.), changes in cell structure and gene expression levels of tea leaves treated with exogenous BRs were analyzed by electron microscopy and high-throughput Illumina RNA-Seq technology. The results showed that the number of starch granules in the chloroplasts and lipid globules increased and thylakoids expanded after BR treatment compared with the control. Transcriptome analysis showed that in the four BR treatments (CAA: BR treatment for 3 h, CAB: BR treatment for 9 h, CAC: BR treatment for 24 h, and CAD: BR treatment for 48 h), 3861 (1867 upregulated and 1994 downregulated), 5030 (2461 upregulated and 2569 downregulated), 1626 (815 upregulated and 811 downregulated), and 2050 (1004 upregulated and 1046 downregulated) differentially expressed genes were detected, respectively, compared with CAK (BR treatment for 0 h). Using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases, metabolic pathway enrichment analysis showed that the differentially expressed genes of CAA vs. CAK, CAB vs. CAK, CAC vs. CAK, and CAD vs. CAK significantly enriched the functional categories of signal transduction, cell cycle regulation, and starch, sucrose, and flavonoid biosynthesis and metabolism pathways. We also found that after spraying BR, the key genes for caffeine synthesis were downregulated. The results of qRT-PCR coincided with the findings of transcriptomic analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study improved our understanding of the effects of BRs on the growth and development of tea leaves and laid the foundation for the in-depth analysis of signal transduction pathways of BRs in tea leaves.

PMID:34991475 | PMC:PMC8739690 | DOI:10.1186/s12864-021-08179-9

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