UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses of mutant yellow leaves provide insights into pigment synthesis and metabolism in Ginkgo biloba Wu, Yaqiong; Guo, Jing; Wang, Tongli; Cao, Fuliang; Wang, Guibin


Background: Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) is an excellent landscape species. Its yellow-green leaf mutants are ideal materials for research on pigment synthesis, but the regulatory mechanism of leaf coloration in these ginkgo mutants remains unclear. Results: We compared the metabolomes and transcriptomes of green and mutant yellow leaves of ginkgo over the same period in this study. The results showed that the chlorophyll content of normal green leaves was significantly higher than that of mutant yellow leaves of ginkgo. We obtained 931.52M clean reads from different color leaves of ginkgo. A total of 283 substances in the metabolic profiles were finally detected, including 50 significantly differentially expressed metabolites (DEMs). We identified these DEMs and 1361 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), with 37, 4, 3 and 13 DEGs involved in the photosynthesis, chlorophyll, carotenoid, and flavonoid biosynthesis pathways, respectively. Moreover, integrative analysis of the metabolomes and transcriptomes revealed that the flavonoid pathway contained the upregulated DEM (−)-epicatechin. Fourteen DEGs from the photosynthesis pathway were positively or negatively correlated with the DEMs. Conclusions: Our findings suggest a complex metabolic network in mutant yellow leaves. This study will provide a basis for studies of leaf color variation and regulation.

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