P. minus is an aromatic plant, the leaf of which is widely used as a food additive and in the perfume industry. The leaf also accumulates secondary metabolites that act as active ingredients such as flavonoid. Due to limited genomic and transcriptomic data, the biosynthetic pathway of flavonoids is currently unclear. Identification of candidate genes involved in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway will significantly contribute to understanding the biosynthesis of active compounds. We have constructed a standard cDNA library from P. minus leaves, and two normalized full-length enriched cDNA libraries were constructed from stem and root organs in order to create a gene resource for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, especially flavonoid biosynthesis. Thus, large-scale sequencing of P. minus cDNA libraries identified 4196 expressed sequences tags (ESTs) which were deposited in dbEST in the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI). From the three constructed cDNA libraries, 11 ESTs encoding seven genes were mapped to the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. Finally, three flavonoid biosynthetic pathway-related ESTs chalcone synthase, CHS (JG745304), flavonol synthase, FLS (JG705819) and leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase, LDOX (JG745247) were selected for further examination by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) in different P. minus organs. Expression was detected in leaf, stem and root. Gene expression studies have been initiated in order to better understand the underlying physiological processes.
Keywords: Polygonum minus; cDNA library; expressed sequence tags; flavonoid biosynthesis; quantitative real-time PCR.