De novo transcriptome provides insights into the growth behaviour and resveratrol and trans-stilbenes biosynthesis in Dactylorhiza hatagirea - An endangered alpine terrestrial orchid of western Himalaya.Sci Rep 2019; 9(1):13133SR
This is the first report on de novo transcriptome of Dactylorhiza hatagirea, a critically-endangered, terrestrial orchid of alpine Himalayas. The plant is acclaimed for medicinal properties but little is known about its secondary-metabolites profile or cues regulating their biosynthesis. De novo transcriptome analysis was therefore, undertaken to gain basic understanding on these aspects, while circumventing the acute limitation of plant material availability. 65,384 transcripts and finally, 37,371 unigenes were assembled de novo from a total of 236 million reads obtained from shoot, tuber and leaves of the plant. Dominance of differentially-expressing-genes (DEGs) related to cold-stress-response and plant-hormone-signal-transduction; and those involved in photosynthesis, sugar-metabolism and secondary-metabolite-synthesis provided insights into carbohydrate-partitioning in the plant during its preparation for freezing winter at natural habitat. DEGs of glucomannan, ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phylloquinone/naphthoquinones, indole alkaloids, resveratrol and stilbene biosynthesis revealed the secondary-metabolite profile of D. hatagirea. UHPLC results confirmed appreciable amounts of resveratrol and trans-stilbene in D. hatagirea tubers, for the first time. Expression analysis of 15 selected genes including those of phenylpropanoid pathway confirmed the validity of RNA-seq data. Opportunistic growth, temperature- and tissue-specific-differential-expression of secondary metabolite biosynthesis and stress tolerant genes were confirmed using clonal plants growing at 8, 15 and 25 °C.