Full-length transcriptome analysis provides new insights

Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels root part is an integral component of traditional Chinese medicine, widely prescribed to improve blood circulation and blood stasis. However, early bolting of A. sinensiscompromises the quality of the roots and hence is a major limitation for yield of medicinal materials. To date, little information about the molecular mechanisms underlying bolting is available for this important medicinal plant. To identify genes putatively involved in early bolting, we have conducted the transcriptome analysis of the shoot tips of the early-bolting plants and non-bolting (normal) plants of A. sinensis, respectively, using a combination of third-generation sequencing and next-generation sequencing. A total of 43,438 non-redundant transcripts were collected and 475 unique differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified.

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Fig:  A. sinensis cultivated in Min County, Gansu Province, China. (a) Bolting plants (BP) and normal plants (NP) in the same growth period; The whole growth period of A. sinensis typically consists of 3 years, including of 2 years vegetative growth, followed by flowering and seed set from the third year onwards. In early bolting ecotypes, flowering occurs prematurely in the second year. (b) Sampling position. Shoot tips of A. sinensis under the same growth conditions were collected before bolting.

Gene annotation and functional analyses revealed that DEGs were highly involved in plant hormone signaling and biosynthesis pathways, three main flowering pathways, pollen formation, and very-long-chain fatty acids biosynthesis pathways. The levels of endogenous hormones were also changed significantly in the early bolting stage of A. sinensis. This study provided new insights into the transcriptomic control of early bolting in A. sinensis, which could be further applied to enhance the yield of medicinally important raw materials.

Gao, X., Guo, F., Chen, Y. et al. Full-length transcriptome analysis provides new insights into the early bolting occurrence in medicinalAngelica sinensis. Sci Rep 11, 13000 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-92494-4

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