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Deep sequencing of the fruit transcriptome and lipid accumulation in a non-seed tissue of Chinese tallow, a potential biofuel crop

Divi, U.K., Zhou, X-R, Wang, P., Butlin, J., Zhang, D-M, Liu, Q., Vanhercke, T., Petrie, J.R., Talbot, M., White, R.G., Taylor, J.M., Larkin, P. and Singh, S.P. (2015) Deep sequencing of the fruit transcriptome and lipid accumulation in a non-seed tissue of Chinese tallow, a potential biofuel crop. Plant and Cell Physiology, 57 (1). pp. 125-137.

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Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) is a valuable oilseedproducing tree that can grow in a variety of conditions without competing for food production, and is a promising biofuel feedstock candidate. The fruits are unique in that they contain both saturated and unsaturated fat present in the tallow and seed layer, respectively. The tallow layer is poorly studied and is considered only as an external fatty deposition secreted from the seed. In this study we show that tallow is in fact a non-seed cellular tissue capable of triglyceride synthesis. Knowledge of lipid synthesis and storage mechanisms in tissues other than seed is limited but essential to generate oil-rich biomass crops. Here, we describe the annotated transcriptome assembly generated from the fruit coat, tallow and seed tissues of Chinese tallow. The final assembly was functionally annotated, allowing for the identification of candidate genes and reconstruction of lipid pathways. A tallow tissue-specific paralog for the transcription factor gene WRINKLED1 (WRI1) and lipid droplet-associated protein genes, distinct from those expressed in seed tissue, were found to be active in tallow, underpinning the mode of oil synthesis and packaging in this tissue. Our data have established an excellent knowledge base that can provide genetic and biochemical insights for engineering non-seed tissues to accumulate large amounts of oil. In addition to the large data set of annotated transcripts, the study also provides gene-based simple sequence repeat and single nucleotide polymorphism markers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © The Author 2015.
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