De novo sequencing analysis of the Rosa roxburghii fruit transcriptome reveals putative ascorbate biosynthetic genes and EST-SSR markers

Xiuqin Yan, Xue Zhang, Min Lu, Yong He, Huaming An
Gene 2015 April 25, 561 (1): 54-62
Rosa roxburghii Tratt. is a well-known ornamental rose species native to China. In addition, the fruits of this species are valued for their nutritional and medicinal characteristics, especially their high ascorbic acid (AsA) levels. Nevertheless, AsA biosynthesis in R. roxburghii fruit has not been explored in detail because of a lack of genomic resources for this species. High-throughput transcriptomic sequencing generating large volumes of transcript sequence data can aid in gene discovery and molecular marker development. In this study, we generated more than 53 million clean reads using Illumina paired-end sequencing technology. De novo assembly yielded 106,590 unigenes, with an average length of 343 bp. On the basis of sequence similarity to known proteins, 9301 and 2393 unigenes were classified into Gene Ontology and Clusters of Orthologous Group categories, respectively. There were 7480 unigenes assigned to 124 pathways in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Gene and Genome pathway database. BLASTx searches identified 498 unique putative transcripts encoding various transcription factors, some known to regulate fruit development. qRT-PCR validated the expressions of most of the genes encoding the main enzymes involved in ascorbate biosynthesis. In addition, 9131 potential simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were identified among the unigenes. One hundred and two primer pairs were synthesized and 71 pairs produced an amplification product during initial screening. Among the amplified products, 30 were polymorphic in the 16 R. roxburghii germplasms tested. Our study was the first to produce a large volume of transcriptome data from R. roxburghii. The resulting sequence collection is a valuable resource for gene discovery and marker-assisted selective breeding in this rose species.

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