UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Transcriptomic and Phenotypic Analyses Reveal the Molecular Mechanism of Dwarfing in Tetraploid Robinia pseudoacacia L. Wu, Yue; Guo, Qi; Long, Cui; El-Kassaby, Yousry A.; Sun, Yuhan; Li, Yun


Polyploid breeding techniques aid in the cultivation of new forestry cultivars, thus expanding the suite of strategies for the improvement of arboreal traits and innovation within the field of forestry. Compared to diploid Robinia pseudoacacia L. (black locust) ‘D26-5①’ (2×), its dwarfed homologous tetraploid ‘D26-5②’ (4×) variety has better application prospects in garden vegetation guardrails and urban landscape. However, the molecular mechanism of the generation and growth of this dwarf variety is still unclear. Here, plant growth and development as well as histological differences between the diploid and its autotetraploid were investigated. Levels of endogenous hormones at three different developmental stages (20, 40, and 70 days) of 2× and homologous 4× tissue culture plantlets were assessed, and it was found that the brassinosteroid (BR) contents of the former were significantly higher than the latter. Transcriptome sequencing data analysis of 2× and homologous 4× showed that differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly enriched in plant hormone synthesis and signal transduction, sugar and starch metabolism, and the plant circadian rhythm pathway, which are closely related to plant growth and development. Therefore, these biological pathways may be important regulatory pathways leading to dwarfism and slow growth in tetraploids. Additionally, utilizing weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA), we identified three crucial differentially expressed genes (DEGs)—PRR5, CYP450, and SPA1—that potentially underlie the observed ploidy variation. This study provides a new reference for the molecular mechanism of dwarfism in dwarfed autotetraploid black locusts. Collectively, our results of metabolite analysis and comparative transcriptomics confirm that plant hormone signaling and the circadian rhythm pathway result in dwarfism in black locusts.

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