Validation of Reference Genes for Accurate Normalization of Gene Expression in Lilium davidii var. unicolor for Real Time Quantitative PCR

PLoS One. 2015 Oct 28;10(10):e0141323. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141323. eCollection 2015.


Lilium is an important commercial market flower bulb. qRT-PCR is an extremely important technique to track gene expression levels. The requirement of suitable reference genes for normalization has become increasingly significant and exigent. The expression of internal control genes in living organisms varies considerably under different experimental conditions. For economically important Lilium, only a limited number of reference genes applied in qRT-PCR have been reported to date. In this study, the expression stability of 12 candidate genes including α-TUB, β-TUB, ACT, eIF, GAPDH, UBQ, UBC, 18S, 60S, AP4, FP, and RH2, in a diverse set of 29 samples representing different developmental processes, three stress treatments (cold, heat, and salt) and different organs, has been evaluated. For different organs, the combination of ACT, GAPDH, and UBQ is appropriate whereas ACT together with AP4, or ACT along with GAPDH is suitable for normalization of leaves and scales at different developmental stages, respectively. In leaves, scales and roots under stress treatments, FP, ACT and AP4, respectively showed the most stable expression. This study provides a guide for the selection of a reference gene under different experimental conditions, and will benefit future research on more accurate gene expression studies in a wide variety of Lilium genotypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Lilium / genetics*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics

Grant support

China National Natural Science Foundation, Grant No. 30972023, 31171981, the Program for Excellent Talents in University of Liaoning province, China Grant No. LR2013029.