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Mepiquat chloride (DPC) is a chemical that is extensively used to control internode growth and create compact canopies in cultured plants. Previous studies have suggested that DPC could also inhibit gibberellin biosynthesis in sugarcane. Unfortunately, the molecular mechanism underlying the suppressive effects of DPC on plant growth is still largely unknown. In the present study, we first obtained high-quality long transcripts from the internodes of sugarcane using the PacBio Sequel System. A total of 72,671 isoforms, with N50 at 3073, were generated. These long isoforms were used as a reference for the subsequent RNA-seq. Afterwards, short reads generated from the Illumina HiSeq 4000 platform were used to compare the differentially expressed genes in both the DPC and the control groups. Transcriptome profiling showed that most significant gene changes occurred after six days post DPC treatment. These genes were related to plant hormone signal transduction and biosynthesis of several metabolites, indicating that DPC affected multiple pathways, in addition to suppressing gibberellin biosynthesis. The network of DPC on the key stage was illustrated by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). Among the 36 constructed modules, the top positive correlated module, at the stage of six days post spraying DPC, was sienna3. Notably, Stf0 sulfotransferase, cyclin-like F-box, and HOX12 were the hub genes in sienna3 that had high correlation with other genes in this module. Furthermore, the qPCR validated the high accuracy of the RNA-seq results. Taken together, we have demonstrated the key role of these genes in DPC-induced growth inhibition in sugarcane.


Rongfa Chen, Yegeng Fan, Huiwen Zhou, Shanping Mo, Zhongfeng Zhou, Haifeng Yan, Ting Luo, Xing Huang, Mengling Weng, Prakash Lakshmanan, Yangrui Li, Lihang Qiu, Jianming Wu. Global transcriptome changes of elongating internode of sugarcane in response to mepiquat chloride. BMC genomics. 2021 Jan 25;22(1):79

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PMID: 33494722

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