Transcriptome Analysis of the Curry Tree (Bergera Koenigii L., Rutaceae) During Leaf Development

Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 12;9(1):4230. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40227-z.


The curry tree (Bergera koenigii L.) is a widely cultivated plant used in South Asian cooking. Next-generation sequencing was used to generate the transcriptome of the curry leaf to detect changes in gene expression during leaf development, such as those genes involved in the production of oils which lend the leaf its characteristic taste, aroma, and medicinal properties. Using abundance estimation (RSEM) and differential expression analysis, genes that were significantly differentially expressed were identified. The transcriptome was annotated with BLASTx using the non-redundant (nr) protein database, and Gene Ontology (GO) terms were assigned based on the top BLAST hit using Blast2GO. Lastly, functional enrichment of the assigned GO terms was analyzed for genes that were significantly differentially expressed. Of the most enriched GO categories, pathways involved in cell wall, membrane, and lignin synthesis were found to be most upregulated in immature leaf tissue, possibly due to the growth and expansion of the leaf tissue. Terpene synthases, which synthesize monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, which comprise much of the curry essential oil, were found to be significantly upregulated in mature leaf tissue, suggesting that oil production increases later in leaf development. Enzymes involved in pigment production were also significantly upregulated in mature leaves. The findings were based on computational estimates of gene expression from RNA-seq data, and further study is warranted to validate these results using targeted techniques, such as quantitative PCR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't