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J Integr Plant Biol. 2014 Sep;56(9):876-86. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12204. Epub 2014 Jun 29.

Comprehensive profiling and natural variation of flavonoids in rice.

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National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China.


Flavonoids constitute a major group of plant phenolic compounds. While extensively studied in Arabidopsis, profiling and naturally occurring variation of these compounds in rice (Oryza sativa), the monocot model plant, are less reported. Using a collection of rice germplasm, comprehensive profiling and natural variation of flavonoids were presented in this report. Application of a widely targeted metabolomics method facilitated the simultaneous identification and quantification of more than 90 flavonoids using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Comparing flavonoid contents in various tissues during different developmental stages revealed tissue-specific accumulation of most flavonoids. Further investigation indicated that flavone mono-C-glycosides, malonylated flavonoid O-hexosides, and some flavonoid O-glycosides accumulated at significantly higher levels in indica than in japonica, while the opposite was observed for aromatic acylated flavone C-hexosyl-O-hexosides. In contrast to the highly differential accumulation between the two subspecies, relatively small variations within subspecies were detected for most flavonoids. Besides, an association analysis between flavonoid accumulation and its biosynthetic gene sequence polymorphisms disclosed that natural variation of flavonoids was probably caused by sequence polymorphisms in the coding region of flavonoid biosynthetic genes. Our work paves the way for future dissection of biosynthesis and regulation of flavonoid pathway in rice.


Flavonoids; Oryza sativa; metabolic profiling; natural variation; single-nucleotide polymorphisms

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