Transcriptome analysis to identify genes involved in lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid biosynthesis in medicinal plant Kadsura heteroclita


  • Xiaodong ZHANG Xuchang University, Food and Pharmacy College, College of Chemical and Materials Engineering, 88 Baiyi Road, Xuchang 461000; Lakehead University, Department of Biology, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B5E1 (CN)
  • Caixia LI Xuchang University, Food and Pharmacy College, College of Chemical and Materials Engineering, 88 Baiyi Road, Xuchang 461000 (CN)
  • Chonlong CHIO Lakehead University, Department of Biology, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B5E1 (CA)
  • Ayyappa K. S. KAMESHWAR Lakehead University, Department of Biology, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B5E1 (CA)
  • Tianxiao MA Huanghe Science and Technology University, Faculty of Engineering, 666 South Zijingshan Road, Zhengzhou 450063; Lakehead University, Department of Biology, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B5E1 (CN)
  • Wensheng QIN Lakehead University, Department of Biology, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B5E1 (CA)



Kadsura heteroclita; transcriptome; lignan biosynthesis; sesquiterpenoid biosynthesis; triterpenoid biosynthesis


Stems and roots of Kadsura plant species were the significant ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine. Kadsura heteroclita is one of the popular medicinal plants used in Tujia and Yao nationalities of China. Antioxidant compounds like lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid are the major active components of K. hetroclita. Mass cultivation and bio-manufacturing strategies were being proposed to meet the increasing demand of Kadsura species plant parts. Therefore, it is important to reveal the molecular networks involved in biosynthesis of these highly efficient medicinal compounds. Here, transcriptomes of roots, stems and leaves in K. heteroclite seedling were sequenced by Hiseq2000 and unigenes involved in biosynthesis of lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid biosynthesis were mined. As a result, 472 million clean reads were obtained which after aligning resulted in 160,248 transcripts and 98,005 genes. 191 and 279 unigenes were expected to be involved in biosynthesis of lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid biosynthetic pathways respectively. Lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid biosynthesis pathway genes were highly significant and differentially upregulated in roots and stems and downregulated in leaves. Also, genes encoding for MYB and bHLH transcription factors possibly involved in regulation of lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid biosynthesis were discovered. These results provide the fundamental genomic resources for dissecting of biosynthetic pathways of the active components in K. hetroclita.


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How to Cite

ZHANG, X., LI, C., CHIO, C., KAMESHWAR, A. K. S., MA, T., & QIN, W. (2020). Transcriptome analysis to identify genes involved in lignan, sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid biosynthesis in medicinal plant Kadsura heteroclita. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 48(4), 1802–1831.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha48412044