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. 2020 Mar 4;20(1):98.
doi: 10.1186/s12870-020-2311-z.

Transcriptome and Metabolite Analyses Provide Insights Into Zigzag-Shaped Stem Formation in Tea Plants (Camellia Sinensis)

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Free PMC article

Transcriptome and Metabolite Analyses Provide Insights Into Zigzag-Shaped Stem Formation in Tea Plants (Camellia Sinensis)

Hongli Cao et al. BMC Plant Biol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Shoot orientation is important for plant architecture formation, and zigzag-shaped shoots are a special trait found in many plants. Zigzag-shaped shoots have been selected and thoroughly studied in Arabidopsis; however, the regulatory mechanism underlying zigzag-shaped shoot development in other plants, especially woody plants, is largely unknown.

Results: In this study, tea plants with zigzag-shaped shoots, namely, Qiqu (QQ) and Lianyuanqiqu (LYQQ), were investigated and compared with the erect-shoot tea plant Meizhan (MZ) in an attempt to reveal the regulation of zigzag-shaped shoot formation. Tissue section observation showed that the cell arrangement and shape of zigzag-shaped stems were aberrant compared with those of normal shoots. Moreover, a total of 2175 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified from the zigzag-shaped shoots of the tea plants QQ and LYQQ compared to the shoots of MZ using transcriptome sequencing, and the DEGs involved in the "Plant-pathogen interaction", "Phenylpropanoid biosynthesis", "Flavonoid biosynthesis" and "Linoleic acid metabolism" pathways were significantly enriched. Additionally, the DEGs associated with cell expansion, vesicular trafficking, phytohormones, and transcription factors were identified and analysed. Metabolomic analysis showed that 13 metabolites overlapped and were significantly changed in the shoots of QQ and LYQQ compared to MZ.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that zigzag-shaped shoot formation might be associated with the gravitropism response and polar auxin transport in tea plants. This study provides a valuable foundation for further understanding the regulation of plant architecture formation and for the cultivation and application of horticultural plants in the future.

Keywords: Auxin transport; Gravitropism response; Stem development; Tea plant; Zigzag-shaped stem.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Morphology and histological analysis of the shoots of MZ, QQ, and LYQQ. a to c, Tender stem morphology of MZ (a), QQ (b), and LYQQ (c). Bars = 1 cm. d to i, Longitudinal sections of tender stems of MZ (d and g), QQ (e and h), and LYQQ (f and i). Bars = 500 μm. ep, epidermis; co, cortex; ca, cambium; xy, xylem; pi, pith
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Validation of the tea plant transcriptome by qRT-PCR. Sixteen genes were selected for qRT-PCR validation, and the results are represented as the means (±SDs) of three replicates with CsPTB1 as a control. The bars represent the qRT-PCR results, while the line represents the RNA-seq results. ** indicates a significant difference at the 0.01 level in the qRT-PCR results
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Summary of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and their KEGG pathway enrichment analysis among the MZ, QQ, and LYQQ tea plants. a Number of up- and downregulated DEGs in MZ-vs-QQ, MZ-vs-LYQQ, and QQ-vs-LYQQ. b KEGG classification analysis of DEGs identified from MZ-vs-QQ, MZ-vs-LYQQ, and QQ-vs-LYQQ
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Comparative analysis of DEGs between MZ-vs-QQ and MZ-vs-LYQQ. a Venn diagram of the DEGs in the MZ-vs-QQ, MZ-vs-LYQQ, and QQ-vs-LYQQ comparisons. The numbers of upregulated and downregulated DEGs are indicated with red and black, respectively. b KEGG functional classification of 2175 DEGs that overlapped between MZ-vs-QQ and MZ-vs-LYQQ. c GO enrichment analysis of the 2175 DEGs identified as overlapping between MZ-vs-QQ and MZ-vs-LYQQ
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Seventy-six key DEGs identified as involved in zigzag-shaped stem formation in tea plants. DEGs associated with cell wall synthesis and cell expansion (a), transmembrane factors (b), phytohormones (c), vesicular trafficking (d), and other plant growth and development genes (e) were identified and analysed. The values of log2-fold changes in MZ-vs-QQ and MZ-vs-LYQQ were visualized using heat maps. Detailed information is also listed in the electronic supplementary material (Additional file 3: Table S3)
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Identification of differential metabolites involved in zigzag-shaped stem regulation in tea plants. a Venn diagram analysis of differential metabolites in the MZ-vs-QQ, MZ-vs-LYQQ, and QQ-vs-LYQQ comparisons. b Thirteen differential metabolites identified as overlapping between MZ-vs-QQ and MZ-vs-LYQQ

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