Comparative transcriptomics approach in elucidation of carotenoid biosynthesis regulation in grains of rice (OryzasativaL.)
Estimation of phytoene, lycopene, β-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin in grains of white, brown and purple cultivars of rice revealed marked differences in the levels of these carotenoid intermediates amongst the cultivars. Grains of white rice did not show any significant accumulation of carotenoid intermediates at any stage of development. On the other hand, grains of the purple cultivar accumulated 49.16 ± 5 µg of β-carotene, 28.89 ± 3.2 µg of lutein and 34.65 ± 4.6 µg of zeaxanthin per gm of grain fresh weight. In addition to PSY1, higher expression of βLCY than εLCY appears to be an important factor in determining the flux of pathway towards synthesis of β-β branch carotenoids in purple rice. This cultivar showed a higher fold change in carotenoid precursors during transition from milky to doughing stages and an enhanced flux of lycopene towards β-carotene during grain maturation. Our results indicate that higher level of carotenoids in purple rice is a consequence of higher expression of genes involved in pyruvate metabolism as well as those involved in carotenoid biosynthesis such as PSY1, PDS and β-LCY. Co-expression networking revealed a strong positive relationship between the expression profiles of genes involved in carotenoid biosynthesis and genes coding for geranylgeranyl transferase type II, glutathione S-transferase, DnaJ and SET domain containing proteins as well as MADS26 and R2R3MYB family of transcription factors.
Authors :UpasnaChettry, Nikhil K. Chrungoo&Kirti Kulkarni