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PeerJ. 2019 Jan 31;7:e6124. doi: 10.7717/peerj.6124. eCollection 2019.

Identification, expression, and phylogenetic analyses of terpenoid biosynthesis-related genes in secondary xylem of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) based on transcriptome analyses.

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College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
Science Corporation of Gene, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.


Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is one of the most important species for oleoresin (a mixture of terpenoids) in South China. The high oleoresin content of loblolly pine is associated with resistance to bark beetles and other economic benefits. In this study, we conducted transcriptome analyses of loblolly pine secondary xylem to gain insight into the genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis. A total of 372 unigenes were identified as being critical for oleoresin production, including genes for ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, the cytochrome P450 (CYP) protein family, and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis enzymes. Six key genes involved in terpenoid biosynthetic pathways were selected for multiple sequence alignment, conserved motif prediction, and phylogenetic and expression profile analyses. The protein sequences of all six genes exhibited a higher degree of sequence conservation, and upstream genes were relatively more conserved than downstream genes in terpenoid biosynthetic pathways. The N-terminal regions of these sequences were less conserved than the C-terminal ends, as the N-terminals were quite diverse in both length and composition. The phylogenetic analyses revealed that most genes originated from gene duplication after species divergence, and partial genes exhibited incomplete lineage sorting. In addition, the expression profile analyses showed that all six genes exhibited high expression levels during the high-oleoresin-yielding phase.


Conserved motifs; Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.); Phylogenetic analysis; Terpenoid biosynthesis; Transcriptome analysis

Conflict of interest statement

Jiehu Chen is employed by Science Corporation of Gene

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