Evaluation of internal control for gene expression in Phalaenopsis by quantitative real-time PCR

Xiu-Yun Yuan, Su-Hua Jiang, Mo-Fei Wang, Jie Ma, Xian-Yun Zhang, Bo Cui
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2014, 173 (6): 1431-45
The selection of appropriate reference genes is one of the most important steps to obtain reliable results for normalizing quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) of MADS-box gene in Phalaenopsis. In this study, we cloned 12 candidate reference genes including 18S ribosomal RNA (18S), elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1α), cytoskeletal structural protein actin (ACT1, ACT2, ACT3, ACT4, ACT5), ubiquitin protein (UBQ1 and UBQ2), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), and the cytoskeletal structural proteins α-tubulin (TUA) and β-tubulin (TUB) in Phalaenopsis and evaluated their expression reliability. The expression of these candidate reference genes was analyzed using geNorm and normFinder software packages; the results showed that ACT2 and ACT4 were the highest stability reference genes for all experiment sets based on normFinder, followed by ACT1 or ACT3, while ACT3 and ACT4 were the highest stability reference genes for most experiment sets based on geNorm, then TUB or others. Taken together, Actin genes were the higher stability reference genes for all tissues at total developmental stages, and similar results came from analysis by normFinder. According to geNorm analysis, ACT3 and ACT4 were the most stable reference genes for all tissues tested and tissues at reproductive stages; TUB and ACT5 or ACT4 were the most stable reference genes for vegetative tissues or roots. The most stable reference genes for all vegetative tissues and only leaves were ACT4 and ACT5, ACT2 and ACT3, respectively; ACT1 and ACT3 were the most stable genes and sufficient for reliable normalization of flower tissues. While EF1α, UBQ1, UBQ2, and GAPDH were found to be unsuitable as a reference gene in our analysis for flower tissues, total tissues, and reproductive stages; UBQ2 and 18S were identified as the least stable reference genes for vegetative tissues at different stages, different tissues at vegetative stages; TUA and 18S were the least reliable reference genes for the samples from roots at all developmental stages. This is the first systematic report on the selection of reference genes in Phalaenopsis, and these data will facilitate future work on gene expression in orchid.

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