Identification of suitable qPCR reference genes in leaves of Brassica oleracea under abiotic stresses

Ecotoxicology. 2014 Apr;23(3):459-71. doi: 10.1007/s10646-014-1209-7. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


Real-time quantitative PCR is nowadays a standard method to study gene expression variations in various samples and experimental conditions. However, to interpret results accurately, data normalization with appropriate reference genes appears to be crucial. The present study describes the identification and the validation of suitable reference genes in Brassica oleracea leaves. Expression stability of eight candidates was tested following drought and cold abiotic stresses by using three different softwares (BestKeeper, NormFinder and geNorm). Four genes (BolC.TUB6, BolC.SAND1, BolC.UBQ2 and BolC.TBP1) emerged as the most stable across the tested conditions. Further gene expression analysis of a drought- and a cold-responsive gene (BolC.DREB2A and BolC.ELIP, respectively), confirmed the stability and the reliability of the identified reference genes when used for normalization in the leaves of B. oleracea. These four genes were finally tested upon a benzene exposure and all appeared to be useful reference genes along this toxicological condition. These results provide a good starting point for future studies involving gene expression measurement on leaves of B. oleracea exposed to environmental modifications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brassica / genetics*
  • Droughts
  • Ecotoxicology / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / standards
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*