Background: The industrial chicory, Cichorium intybus, is a member of the Asteraceae family that accumulates fructan of the inulin type in its root. Inulin is a low calories sweetener, a texture agent and a health promoting ingredient due to its prebiotic properties. Average inulin chain length is a critical parameter that is genotype and temperature dependent. In the context of the study of carbohydrate metabolism and to get insight into the transcriptome of chicory root and to visualize temporal changes of gene expression during the growing season, we obtained and characterized 10 cDNA libraries from chicory roots regularly sampled in field during a growing season. A leaf and a nodule libraries were also obtained for comparison. Results: Approximately 1,000 Expressed Sequence Tags (EST) were obtained from each of twelve cDNA libraries resulting in a 12,226 EST dataset. Clustering of these ESTs returned 1,922 contigs and 4,869 singlets for a total of 6,791 putative unigenes. All ESTs were compared to public sequence databases and functionally classified. Data were specifically searched for sequences related to carbohydrate metabolism. Season wide evolution of functional classes was evaluated by comparing libraries at the level of functional categories and unigenes distribution. Conclusion: This chicory EST dataset provides a season wide outlook of the genes expressed in the root and to a minor extent in leaves and nodules. The dataset contains more than 200 sequences related to carbohydrate metabolism and 3,500 new ESTs when compared to other recently released chicory EST datasets, probably because of the season wide coverage of the root samples. We believe that these sequences will contribute to accelerate research and breeding of the industrial chicory as well as of closely related species.
Dauchot, N., Mingeot, D., Purnelle, B., Muys, C., Watillon, B., Boutry, M., & Van Cutsem, P. (2009). Construction of 12 est libraries and characterization of a 12,226 EST dataset for chicory (cichorium intybus) root, leaves and nodules in the context of carbohydrate metabolism investigation. BMC Plant Biology, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-9-14