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Logo of bmcgenoBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Genomics
 
BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 256.
Published online Jun 2, 2009. doi:  10.1186/1471-2164-10-256
PMCID: PMC2702316
Probing the endosperm gene expression landscape in Brassica napus
Yi Huang,1 Liang Chen,1,2 Liping Wang,1 Kannan Vijayan,1 Sieu Phan,3 Ziying Liu,3 Lianglu Wan,1 Andrew Ross,1 Daoquan Xiang,1 Raju Datla,1 Youlian Pan,corresponding author3 and Jitao Zoucorresponding author1
1Plant Biotechnology Institute, National Research Council Canada, 110 Gymnasium Place, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0W9, Canada
2School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, 422 Siming Nan Road, Xiamen, Fujian, 361005, PR China
3Institute for Information Technology, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0R6, Canada
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Yi Huang: yi.huang/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Liang Chen: chenlg/at/xmu.edu.cn; Liping Wang: liping.wang/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Kannan Vijayan: kannan.vijayan/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Sieu Phan: sieu.phan/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Ziying Liu: ziying.liu/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Lianglu Wan: lianglu.wan/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Andrew Ross: andrew.ross/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Daoquan Xiang: daoquan.xiang/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Raju Datla: raju.datla/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Youlian Pan: youlian.pan/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Jitao Zou: jitao.zou/at/nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Received October 22, 2008; Accepted June 2, 2009.
Abstract
Background
In species with exalbuminous seeds, the endosperm is eventually consumed and its space occupied by the embryo during seed development. However, the main constituent of the early developing seed is the liquid endosperm, and a significant portion of the carbon resources for the ensuing stages of seed development arrive at the embryo through the endosperm. In contrast to the extensive study of species with persistent endosperm, little is known about the global gene expression pattern in the endosperm of exalbuminous seed species such as crucifer oilseeds.
Results
We took a multiparallel approach that combines ESTs, protein profiling and microarray analyses to look into the gene expression landscape in the endosperm of the oilseed crop Brassica napus. An EST collection of over 30,000 entries allowed us to detect close to 10,000 unisequences expressed in the endosperm. A protein profile analysis of more than 800 proteins corroborated several signature pathways uncovered by abundant ESTs. Using microarray analyses, we identified genes that are differentially or highly expressed across all developmental stages. These complementary analyses provided insight on several prominent metabolic pathways in the endosperm. We also discovered that a transcription factor LEAFY COTYLEDON (LEC1) was highly expressed in the endosperm and that the regulatory cascade downstream of LEC1 operates in the endosperm.
Conclusion
The endosperm EST collection and the microarray dataset provide a basic genomic resource for dissecting metabolic and developmental events important for oilseed improvement. Our findings on the featured metabolic processes and the LEC1 regulatory cascade offer new angles for investigation on the integration of endosperm gene expression with embryo development and storage product deposition in seed development.
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