Purple-colored leaves in plants attain much interest for their important biological functions and could be a potential source of phenotypic marker in selecting individuals in breeding. The transcriptional profiling helps to precisely identify mechanisms of leaf pigmentation in crop plants. In this study, two genetically unlike rice genotypes, the mutant purple leaf (pl) and wild (WT) were selected for RNA-sequencing and identifying the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that are regulating purple leaf color. In total, 609 DEGs were identified, of which 513 and 96 genes were up- and down-regulated, respectively. The identified DEGs are categorized into metabolic process, carboxylic acid biosynthesis, phenylpropanoids, and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis process enrichment by GO analysis. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) confirmed their association with phenylpropanoid synthesis, flavonoid synthesis, and phenylalanine metabolism. To explore molecular mechanism of purple leaf color, a set of anthocyanin biosynthetic and regulatory gene expression patterns were checked by qPCR. We found that OsPAL (Os02g0626100, Os02g0626400, Os04g0518400, Os05g0427400 and Os02g0627100), OsF3H (Os03g0122300), OsC4HL (Os05g0320700), and Os4CL5 (Os08g0448000) are associated with anthocyanin biosynthesis, and they were up-regulated in pl leaves. Two members of regulatory MYB genes (OsMYB55; Os05g0553400 and Os08g0428200), two bHLH genes (Os01g0196300 and Os04g0300600), and two WD40 genes (Os11g0132700 and Os11g0610700) also showed up-regulation in pl mutant. These genes might have significant and vital roles in pl leaf coloration and could provide reference materials for further experimentation to confirm the molecular mechanisms of anthocyanin biosynthesis in rice.
Keywords: DEGs; anthocyanin biosynthesis; pl (purple leaf) mutant; rice (Oryza sativa L.); transcriptional analysis.