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Metabolic profiling and gene expression analysis provides insights into flavonoid and anthocyanin metabolism in poplar.

  • Tian, Ruru1, 2, 3
  • Li, Qianqian1, 2, 3
  • Rao, Shupei1, 2, 3
  • Wang, Aike4, 5
  • Zhang, Hechen6
  • Wang, Liangsheng7
  • Li, Yue1, 2, 3
  • Chen, Jinhuan1, 2, 3
  • 1 Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Tree Breeding by Molecular Design, Beijing Forestry University, 100083 Beijing, China. , (China)
  • 2 College of Biological Sciences and technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China. , (China)
  • 3 National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China. , (China)
  • 4 Yucheng Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Shangqiu, Henan 476000.
  • 5 Shangqiu Zhongxing Seedling Planting Co., Ltd, Shangqiu, Henan 476000, China. , (China)
  • 6 Horticultural Research Institute, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, Henan 450002, China. , (China)
  • 7 Key Laboratory of Plant Resources and Beijing Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese academy of sciences, Beijing 100093, China. , (China)
Published Article
Tree Physiology
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Nov 09, 2020
DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpaa152
PMID: 33169130


Poplar, a woody perennial model, is a common and widespread tree genus. We cultivated two red leaf poplar varieties from bud mutation of Populus sp. Linn. '2025' (also known as Zhonglin 2025, L2025 for shot): Populus deltoides varieties with bright red leaves (LHY) and completely red leaves (QHY). After measuring total contents of flavonoid, anthocyanin, chlorophyll, and carotenoid metabolites, a liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry system was used for the relative quantification of widely targeted metabolites in leaves of three poplar varieties. A total of 210 flavonoid metabolites (89 flavones, 40 flavonols, 25 flavanones, 18 anthocyanins, 16 isoflavones, 7 dihydroflavonols, 7 chalcones, 5 proanthocyanidins, and 3 other flavonoid metabolites) were identified. Compared with L2025, 48 and 8 flavonoids were more and less abundant, respectively, in LHY, whereas 51 and 9 flavonoids were more and less abundant in QHY, respectively. On the basis of a comprehensive analysis of the metabolic network, gene expression levels were analyzed by deep-sequencing to screen for potential reference genes for the red leaves. Most phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway involved genes were differentially expressed among the examined varieties. Gene expression analysis also revealed several potential anthocyanin biosynthesis regulators including three MYB genes. The study results provide new insights into poplar flavonoid metabolites and represent the theoretical basis for future studies on leaf coloration in this model tree species. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Forpermissions, please e-mail: [email protected]

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