Comprehensive transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis revealed distinct flavonoid biosynthesis regulation during abnormal pistil development in Japanese apricot

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Japanese apricot is an imperative stone fruit plant with numerous processing importance. The failure of reproductive system is the most common cause of fruit loss, through which pistil abortion is the fundamental one. To understand this mechanism, we used a combination of transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches to investigate the biochemical and molecular basis of flavonoid biosynthesis. Due to the regulated expression of flavonoid pathway-related genes in plants, flavonoid biosynthesis is largely regulated at the transcriptional level. A total of 2272 differently expressed genes and 215 differential metabolites were found. The expression of the genes and metabolites encoding flavonoid biosynthesis was lower in abnormal pistils that are in line with the flavonoid quantification from abnormal pistils. Besides, a couple of genes were also detected related to MYB, MADS, NAC and bHLH transcription factors. Remarkably, we found ‘hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (LOC103323133)’ and flavonoid related metabolite ‘2-hydroxycinnamic acid’ was lower expressed in abnormal pistil, proposing the cause of pistil abortion. Collectively, the present study delivers inclusive transcriptional and metabolic datasets that proposed valuable prospects to unravel the genetic mechanism underlying pistil abortion.

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