The transcriptome enables the identification of candidate genes behind medicinal value of Drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera)

Genomics. 2020 Jan;112(1):621-628. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2019.04.014. Epub 2019 Apr 29.


Moringa oleifera is a plant well-known for its nutrition value, drought resistance and medicinal properties. cDNA libraries from five different tissues (leaf, root, stem, seed and flower) of M. oleifera cultivar Bhagya were generated and sequenced. We developed a bioinformatics pipeline to assemble transcriptome, along with the previously published M. oleifera genome, to predict 17,148 gene models. Few candidate genes related to biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, vitamins and ion transporters were identified. Expressions were further confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR experiments for few promising leads. Quantitative estimation of metabolites, as well as elemental analysis, was also carried out to support our observations. Enzymes in the biosynthesis of vitamins and metabolites like quercetin and kaempferol are highly expressed in leaves, flowers and seeds. The expression of iron transporters and calcium storage proteins were observed in root and leaves. In general, leaves retain the highest amount of small molecules of interest.

Keywords: Differential expression; Functional annotation; Metabolic pathway analysis; Plant transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology*
  • Gene Library
  • Moringa oleifera* / genetics
  • Moringa oleifera* / metabolism
  • Secondary Metabolism / physiology*
  • Transcriptome / physiology*