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BMC Genomics. 2020 Feb 18;21(1):168. doi: 10.1186/s12864-020-6576-2.

Transcriptional reprogramming strategies and miRNA-mediated regulation networks of Taxus media induced into callus cells from tissues.

Chen Y1,2,3, Zhang M1,2,3, Jin X1,2,3, Tao H1,2,3, Wang Y1,2,3, Peng B1,2,3, Fu C4,5,6, Yu L1,2,3.

Author information

1
Institute of Resource Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, No.1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China.
2
Key Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, No.1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China.
3
Hubei Engineering Research Center for Edible and Medicinal Resources, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China.
4
Institute of Resource Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, No.1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China. fuch2003@126.com.
5
Key Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics Ministry of Education, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, No.1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China. fuch2003@126.com.
6
Hubei Engineering Research Center for Edible and Medicinal Resources, Wuhan, 430074, People's Republic of China. fuch2003@126.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Taxus cells are a potential sustainable and environment-friendly source of taxol, but they have low survival ratios and slow grow rates. Despite these limitations, Taxus callus cells induced through 6 months of culture contain more taxol than their parent tissues. In this work, we utilized 6-month-old Taxus media calli to investigate their regulatory mechanisms of taxol biosynthesis by applying multiomics technologies. Our results provide insights into the adaptation strategies of T. media by transcriptional reprogramming when induced into calli from parent tissues.

RESULTS:

Seven out of 12 known taxol, most of flavonoid and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis genes were significantly upregulated in callus cells relative to that in the parent tissue, thus indicating that secondary metabolism is significantly strengthened. The expression of genes involved in pathways metabolizing biological materials, such as amino acids and sugars, also dramatically increased because all nutrients are supplied from the medium. The expression level of 94.1% genes involved in photosynthesis significantly decreased. These results reveal that callus cells undergo transcriptional reprogramming and transition into heterotrophs. Interestingly, common defense and immune activities, such as "plant-pathogen interaction" and salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid-signaling transduction, were repressed in calli. Thus, it's an intelligent adaption strategy to use secondary metabolites as a cost-effective defense system. MiRNA- and degradome-sequencing results showed the involvement of a precise regulatory network in the miRNA-mediated transcriptional reprogramming of calli. MiRNAs act as direct regulators to enhance the metabolism of biological substances and repress defense activities. Given that only 17 genes of secondary metabolite biosynthesis were effectively regulated, miRNAs are likely to play intermediate roles in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites by regulating transcriptional factors (TFs), such as ERF, WRKY, and SPL.

CONCLUSION:

Our results suggest that increasing the biosynthesis of taxol and other secondary metabolites is an active regulatory measure of calli to adapt to heterotrophic culture, and this alteration mainly involved direct and indirect miRNA-induced transcriptional reprogramming. These results expand our understanding of the relationships among the metabolism of biological substances, the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and defense systems. They also provide a series of candidate miRNAs and transcription factors for taxol biosynthesis.

KEYWORDS:

Plant defenses; Taxol biosynthesis; Taxus callus; Transcription factors; miRNA

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