JOURNAL ARTICLE

Selection of reference genes for quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction normalization in Brassica napus under various stress conditions

Zheng Wang, Yu Chen, Hedi Fang, Haifeng Shi, Keping Chen, Zhiyan Zhang, Xiaoli Tan
Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG 2014, 289 (5): 1023-35
24770781
Data normalization is essential for reliable output of quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays, as the unsuitable choice of reference gene(s), whose expression might be influenced by exogenous treatments in plant tissues, could cause misinterpretation of results. To date, no systematic studies on reference genes have been performed in stressed Brassica napus. In this study, we investigated the expression variations of nine candidate reference genes in 40 samples of B. napus leaves subjected to various exogenous treatments. Parallel analyses by geNorm and NormFinder revealed that optimal reference genes differed across the different sets of samples. The best-ranked reference genes were PP2A and TIP41 for salt stress, TIP41 and ACT7 for heavy metal (Cr(6+)) stress, PP2A and UBC21 for drought stress, F-box and SAND for cold stress, F-box and ZNF for salicylic acid stress, TIP41, ACT7, and PP2A for methyl jasmonate stress, TIP41 and ACT7 for abscisic acid stress, and TIP41, UBC21, and PP2A for Sclerotinia sclerotiorum stress. Two newly employed reference genes, TIP41 and PP2A, showed better performances, suggesting their suitability in multiple conditions. To further validate the suitability of the reference genes, the expression patterns of BnWRKY40 and BnMKS1 were studied in parallel. This study is the first systematic analysis of reference gene selection for qRT-PCR normalization in B. napus, an agriculturally important crop, under different stress conditions. The results will contribute toward more accurate and widespread use of qRT-PCR in gene analysis of the genus Brassica.

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