Transcriptome analysis reveals a critical role of CHS7 and CHS8 genes for isoflavonoid synthesis in soybean seeds

Sangeeta Dhaubhadel, Mark Gijzen, Pat Moy, Mana Farhangkhoee
Plant Physiology 2007, 143 (1): 326-38
We have used cDNA microarray analysis to examine changes in gene expression during embryo development in soybean (Glycine max) and to compare gene expression profiles of two soybean cultivars that differ in seed isoflavonoid content. The analysis identified 5,910 genes that were differentially expressed in both soybean cultivars grown at two different locations for two consecutive years in one of the five different stages of embryo development. An ANOVA analysis with P value < 0.05 and < 0.01 indicated that gene expression changes due to environmental factors are greater than those due to cultivar differences. Most changes in gene expression occurred at the stages when the embryos were at 30 or 70 d after pollination. A significantly larger fraction of genes (48.5%) was expressed throughout the development and showed little or no change in expression. Transcript accumulation for genes related to the biosynthesis of storage components in soybean embryos showed several unique temporal expressions. Expression patterns of several genes involved in isoflavonoid biosynthesis, such as Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase, Chalcone Synthase (CHS) 7, CHS8, and Isoflavone Synthase2, were higher at 70 d after pollination in both the cultivars. Thus, expression of these genes coincides with the onset of accumulation of isoflavonoids in the embryos. A comparative analysis of genes involved in isoflavonoid biosynthesis in RCAT Angora (high seed isoflavonoid cultivar) and Harovinton (low seed isoflavonoid cultivar) revealed that CHS7 and CHS8 were expressed at significantly greater level in RCAT Angora than in Harovinton. Our study provides a detailed transcriptome profiling of soybean embryos during development and indicates that differences in the level of seed isoflavonoids between these two cultivars could be as a result of differential expression of CHS7 and CHS8 during late stages of seed development.

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