Transcriptome sequencing and comparative analysis of diploid and autotetraploid Paulownia australis

Research paper by Enkai Xu, Guoqiang Fan, Suyan Niu, Zhenli Zhao, Minjie Deng, Yanpeng Dong

Indexed on: 21 Jan '15Published on: 21 Jan '15Published in: Tree Genetics & Genomes


Paulownia is a fast-growing tree native to China. It can provide high-quality timber and a green environment for humans and has been planted in many countries. Compared with diploid Paulownia australis, autotetraploid P. australis exhibits predominance in terms of yields, qualities, growth, and resistance to stress. However, the molecular and biological mechanisms of its predominant characteristics are still unclear. We performed paired-end sequencing of the transcriptomes of diploid and autotetraploid P. australis plants using the Illumina/Solexa Genome Analyzer platform and compared changes in the expression of genes after chromosome doubling. We obtained a total of 48,445,468 and 46,437,758 high-quality reads from diploid P. australis (PA2) and autotetraploid P. australis (PA4), respectively. After assembly, 90,881 (PA2) and 88,566 (PA4) unigenes were obtained. The unigenes from both transcriptomes were then assembled into 93,300 all-unigenes, which included 50,892 clusters and 42,408 singletons. The all-unigene sequences were searched against public protein databases (Nr, Nt, Swiss-Prot, KOG, and KEGG) using BLASTX with a cutoff E-value of 10−5. Gene expression levels in the two libraries were compared, and a total of 8851 differentially expressed unigenes were identified. A large number of unigenes were found to be related to carbohydrate and energy metabolism, biosynthesis of cell wall, and stress tolerance. Many of the differentially expressed P. australis genes were attributable to chromosome doubling between the PA2 and PA4 plants. Functional analysis revealed variations in the mechanism of growth and stress resistance between PA2 and PA4.