Transcriptome sequencing revealed the influence of blue light on the expression levels of light-stress response genes in Centella asiatica

PLoS One. 2021 Nov 29;16(11):e0260468. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0260468. eCollection 2021.


Centella asiatica is rich in medical and cosmetic properties. While physiological responses of C. asiatica to light have been widely reported, the knowledge of the effects of light on its gene expression is sparse. In this study, we used RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to investigate the expression of the C. asiatica genes in response to monochromatic red and blue light. Most of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under blue light were up-regulated but those under red light were down-regulated. The DEGs encoded for CRY-DASH and UVR3 were among up-regulated genes that play significant roles in responses under blue light. The DEGs involved in the response to photosystem II photodamages and in the biosynthesis of photoprotective xanthophylls were also up-regulated. The expression of flavonoid biosynthetic DEGs under blue light was up-regulated but that under red light was down-regulated. Correspondingly, total flavonoid content under blue light was higher than that under red light. The ABI5, MYB4, and HYH transcription factors appeared as hub nodes in the protein-protein interaction network of the DEGs under blue light while ERF38 was a hub node among the DEGs under red light. In summary, stress-responsive genes were predominantly up-regulated under blue light to respond to stresses that could be induced under high energy light. The information obtained from this study can be useful to better understand the responses of C. asiatica to different light qualities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Centella / genetics*
  • Centella / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / radiation effects*
  • Genes, Plant / radiation effects
  • Light
  • Stress, Physiological / radiation effects
  • Transcriptome / radiation effects*

Grant support

This study was funded by the Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture (ISA) Program (grant number: P-19-51263), National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.