Displaying all 3 publications

  1. Lee XW, Mat-Isa MN, Mohd-Elias NA, Aizat-Juhari MA, Goh HH, Dear PH, et al.
    PLoS One, 2016;11(12):e0167958.
    PMID: 27977777 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167958
    Rafflesia is a biologically enigmatic species that is very rare in occurrence and possesses an extraordinary morphology. This parasitic plant produces a gigantic flower up to one metre in diameter with no leaves, stem or roots. However, little is known about the floral biology of this species especially at the molecular level. In an effort to address this issue, we have generated and characterised the transcriptome of the Rafflesia cantleyi flower, and performed a comparison with the transcriptome of its floral bud to predict genes that are expressed and regulated during flower development. Approximately 40 million sequencing reads were generated and assembled de novo into 18,053 transcripts with an average length of 641 bp. Of these, more than 79% of the transcripts had significant matches to annotated sequences in the public protein database. A total of 11,756 and 7,891 transcripts were assigned to Gene Ontology categories and clusters of orthologous groups respectively. In addition, 6,019 transcripts could be mapped to 129 pathways in Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database. Digital abundance analysis identified 52 transcripts with very high expression in the flower transcriptome of R. cantleyi. Subsequently, analysis of differential expression between developing flower and the floral bud revealed a set of 105 transcripts with potential role in flower development. Our work presents a deep transcriptome resource analysis for the developing flower of R. cantleyi. Genes potentially involved in the growth and development of the R. cantleyi flower were identified and provide insights into biological processes that occur during flower development.
  2. Amini S, Rosli K, Abu-Bakar MF, Alias H, Mat-Isa MN, Juhari MA, et al.
    PLoS One, 2019;14(12):e0226338.
    PMID: 31851702 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226338
    Rafflesia possesses unique biological features and known primarily for producing the world's largest and existing as a single flower. However, to date, little is known about key regulators participating in Rafflesia flower development. In order to further understand the molecular mechanism that regulates Rafflesia cantleyi flower development, RNA-seq data from three developmental stages of floral bud, representing the floral organ primordia initiation, floral organ differentiation, and floral bud outgrowth, were analysed. A total of 89,890 transcripts were assembled of which up to 35% could be annotated based on homology search. Advanced transcriptome analysis using K-mean clustering on the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was able to identify 12 expression clusters that reflect major trends and key transitional states, which correlate to specific developmental stages. Through this, comparative gene expression analysis of different floral bud stages identified various transcription factors related to flower development. The members of WRKY, NAC, bHLH, and MYB families are the most represented among the DEGs, suggesting their important function in flower development. Furthermore, pathway enrichment analysis also revealed DEGs that are involved in various phytohormone signal transduction events such as auxin and auxin transport, cytokinin and gibberellin biosynthesis. Results of this study imply that transcription factors and phytohormone signalling pathways play major role in Rafflesia floral bud development. This study provides an invaluable resource for molecular studies of the flower development process in Rafflesia and other plant species.
  3. Mohd-Elias NA, Rosli K, Alias H, Juhari MA, Abu-Bakar MF, Md-Isa N, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2021 12 08;11(1):23661.
    PMID: 34880337 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-03028-x
    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.
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