IJMS, Vol. 24, Pages 2397: Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Genes in the 20-hydroxyecdysone Biosynthesis in the Fern Microsorum scolopendria Towards Challenges with Foliar Application of Chitosan (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Microsorum scolopendria is an important medicinal plant that belongs to the Polypodiaceae family. In this study, we analyzed the effects of foliar spraying of chitosan on growth promotion and 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) production in M. scolopendria. Treatment with chitosan at a concentration of 50 mg/L in both young and mature sterile fronds induced the highest increase in the amount of accumulated 20E. Using RNA sequencing, we identified 3552 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in response to chitosan treatment. The identified DEGs were associated with 236 metabolic pathways. We identified several DEGs involved in the terpenoid and steroid biosynthetic pathways that might be associated with secondary metabolite 20E biosynthesis. Eight upregulated genes involved in cholesterol and phytosterol biosynthetic pathway, five upregulated genes related to the methylerythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) and mevalonate (MVA) pathways, and several DEGs that are members of cytochrome P450s and ABC transporters were identified. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR confirmed the results of RNA-sequencing. Taken together, we showed that chitosan treatment increased plant dry weight and 20E accumulation in M. scolopendria. RNA-sequencing and DEG analyses revealed key enzymes that might be related to the production of the secondary metabolite 20E in M. scolopendria.