Abstract Detail

Comparative Genomics/Transcriptomics

Yin, Shuhan [1], Drummond, Chloe [2], Renner, Tanya [3].

Effect of light intensity on thinleaf huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum Douglas ex Torr.) flavonoid biosynthesis.

Vaccinium membranaceum Douglas ex Torr. (thinleaf huckleberry, Ericaceae) fruits and leaves are culturally and economically important in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, in part because of their flavonoid content. The berry flavonoids provide significant health benefits and a desirable flavor profile, while the leaf flavonoids are used in herbal medicine. Light intensity and quality influence flavonoid profiles differently across tissue types and plant species. Flavonoid production can be used as an indicator of plant stress. Vaccinium membranaceum is not yet commercially cultivated and optimal growing conditions to maximize flavonoid content in leaves are unknown. Testing the effects of light intensity on flavonoid production in the leaves of V. membranaceum will aid in developing an optimized method of growing the plant in greenhouse conditions. Three light treatments (0%, 30%, and 60% shade) were conducted to gain a better understanding of how photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) intensity affects the production of flavonoids in V. membranaceum. We combined comparative transcriptomics with LCMS-MS metabolomics to test the hypothesis of a similar trend in the flavonoid pathway gene expression profile and the metabolite profile from high to low light intensity. Specifically, we hypothesize that higher light conditions will result in increased flavonoid production and higher gene expression in the flavonoid pathway. RNA-Seq data were cleaned and assembled, and a differential gene expression (DGE) analysis was conducted to compare gene expression between different light treatments. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WCGNA) was performed to study co-expression of genes compared to the individual expression of genes. LCMS-MS analysis was conducted to determine metabolite identity and relative quantity of metabolites in each treatment. Gene expression-to-metabolite analysis was carried out to corroborate gene and metabolite expression profiles. Investigating how light stress might affect V. membranaceum leaves in the greenhouse can offer crucial insight into how it can be commercially cultivated, thus offering an alternative to overharvesting natural populations.

1 - The Pennsylvania State University, Entomology, 138 ASI Building, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, United States
2 - The Pennsylvania State University, Entomology, 512 ASI Building, University Park, PA, 16802, United States
3 - The Pennsylvania State University, Department Of Entomology, 514 Agricultural Sciences & Industries Building, University Park, PA, 16802, United States

Flavonoid Biosynthesis

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PGT003
Abstract ID:530
Candidate for Awards:None

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