Transcriptome Level Analysis of Genes of Exogenous Ethylene Applied under Phosphorus Stress in Chinese Fir

Plants (Basel). 2022 Aug 4;11(15):2036. doi: 10.3390/plants11152036.


Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook) is a widely grown gymnosperm in China. Phosphorus (P) is an indispensable nutrient for the growth of Chinese fir. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) deficiency exists in soils of many Chinese fir planting area regions, and the trees themselves have limited efficiency in utilizing P from the soil. Ethylene is important in regulation responses to nutrient deficiencies. However, little is known about how ethylene signals participate in Pi stress in Chinese fir. A total of six different treatments were performed to reveal the transcript levels of Chinese fir under Pi, ethephon (an ethylene-releasing compound), and CoCl2 (cobalt chloride, an ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor) treatments. We assembled a full-length reference transcriptome containing 22,243 unigenes as a reference for UMI RNA-seq (Digital RNA-seq). There were 586 Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) in the Pi starvation (NP) group, while DEGs from additional ethephon or CoCl2 in NP were 708 and 292, respectively. Among the DEGs in each treatment, there were 83 TFs in these treatment groups. MYB (v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog) family was the most abundant transcription factors (TFs). Three ERF (Ethylene response factor) family genes were identified when only ethylene content was imposed as a variable. Enrichment analysis indicated that the ascorbate and aldarate metabolism pathway plays a key role in resistance to Pi deficiency. This study provides insights for further elucidating the regulatory mechanism of Pi deficiency in Chinese fir.

Keywords: Cunninghamia lanceolata; UMI RNA-seq; ethephon; phosphorus treatment; transcription factor.