Comparative transcriptome sequencing and de novo analysis of Vaccinium corymbosum during fruit and color development

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Background: Blueberry is an economically important fruit crop in Ericaceae family. The substantial quantities of flavonoids in blueberry have been implicated in a broad range of health benefits. However, the information regarding fruit development and flavonoid metabolites based on the transcriptome level is still limited. In the present study, the transcriptome and gene expression profiling over berry development, especially during color development were initiated. Results: A total of approximately 13.67 Gbp of data were obtained and assembled into 186,962 transcripts and 80,836 unigenes from three stages of blueberry fruit and color development. A large number of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and candidate genes, which are potentially involved in plant development, metabolic and hormone pathways, were identified. A total of 6429 sequences containing 8796 SSRs were characterized from 15,457 unigenes and 1763 unigenes contained more than one SSR. The expression profiles of key genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis were also studied. In addition, a comparison between our dataset and other published results was carried out. Conclusions: Our high quality reads produced in this study are an important advancement and provide a new resource for the interpretation of high-throughput data for blueberry species whether regarding sequencing data depth or species extension. The use of this transcriptome data will serve as a valuable public information database for the studies of blueberry genome and would greatly boost the research of fruit and color development, flavonoid metabolisms and regulation and breeding of more healthful blueberries.




Li, L., Zhang, H., Liu, Z., Cui, X., Zhang, T., Li, Y., & Zhang, L. (2016). Comparative transcriptome sequencing and de novo analysis of Vaccinium corymbosum during fruit and color development. BMC Plant Biology, 16(1).

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