Affiliations 

  • 1 School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 2 Malaysia Genome and Vaccine Institute, Jalan Bangi, 43000, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 3 School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 4 Institute of Systems Biology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 5 School of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. klwan@ukm.edu.my
Sci Rep, 2021 12 08;11(1):23661.
PMID: 34880337 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-03028-x

Abstract

Rafflesia is a unique plant species existing as a single flower and produces the largest flower in the world. While Rafflesia buds take up to 21 months to develop, its flowers bloom and wither within about a week. In this study, transcriptome analysis was carried out to shed light on the molecular mechanism of senescence in Rafflesia. A total of 53.3 million high quality reads were obtained from two Rafflesia cantleyi flower developmental stages and assembled to generate 64,152 unigenes. Analysis of this dataset showed that 5,166 unigenes were differentially expressed, in which 1,073 unigenes were identified as genes involved in flower senescence. Results revealed that as the flowers progress to senescence, more genes related to flower senescence were significantly over-represented compared to those related to plant growth and development. Senescence of the R. cantleyi flower activates senescence-associated genes in the transcription activity (members of the transcription factor families MYB, bHLH, NAC, and WRKY), nutrient remobilization (autophagy-related protein and transporter genes), and redox regulation (CATALASE). Most of the senescence-related genes were found to be differentially regulated, perhaps for the fine-tuning of various responses in the senescing R. cantleyi flower. Additionally, pathway analysis showed the activation of genes such as ETHYLENE RECEPTOR, ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE 2, ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE 3, and ETHYLENE-RESPONSIVE TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR, indicating the possible involvement of the ethylene hormone response pathway in the regulation of R. cantleyi senescence. Our results provide a model of the molecular mechanism underlying R. cantleyi flower senescence, and contribute essential information towards further understanding the biology of the Rafflesiaceae family.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.