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Gene. 2012 Dec 10;511(1):79-87. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.09.046. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Differentially expressed transcripts from leaf and root tissue of Chlorophytum borivilianum: a plant with high medicinal value.

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Department of Biotechnology, Panjab University, Chandigarh-160014, India.


Chlorophytum borivilianum is one of the important medicinal plants used for treating different health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, physical weakness, etc. Saponins present in C. borivilianum are the primary source of its significant medicinal properties and are synthesized by mevalonate and non-mevalonate pathways in plants. However, the biosynthesis of these compounds at molecular level is not studied in C. borivilianum. Cloning and sequencing of genes involved in metabolic processes are prerequisite to study the gene expression, their regulation and genetic engineering experiments. Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) provide a quick insight into various genes and their tissue specific expression. Suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) libraries were constructed using mRNA from leaf and root tissues of C. borivilianum. High quality non-redundant 506 and 303 ESTs were generated from leaf and root specific libraries respectively. These sequences were analyzed using bioinformatics tools and grouped into different categories based on their similarity and cellular functions such as photosynthesis, metabolism, transcription factors, cell signaling, defense, stress response etc. ESTs also showed similarity with genes involved in saponins biosynthesis such as squalene synthase, squalene epoxidase, cytochrome p450, glycosyltransferase, etc. Semi-quantitative analysis of some of the ESTs involved in saponins biosynthesis confirmed their differential regulation in leaves and roots. These ESTs will provide an efficient resource to accelerate gene discovery in C. borivilianum and will help in determining promising targets for genetic engineering of saponins pathway.

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