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Open Access Research article

Global characterization of the root transcriptome of a wild species of rice, Oryza longistaminata, by deep sequencing

Haiyuan Yang, Liwei Hu, Thomas Hurek and Barbara Reinhold-Hurek*

Author Affiliations

Laboratory of General Microbiology, Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, University of Bremen, PO. Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:705  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-705

Published: 15 December 2010



Oryza longistaminata, an AA genome type (2 n = 24), originates from Africa and is closely related to Asian cultivated rice (O. sativa L.). It contains various valuable traits with respect to tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress, QTLs with agronomically important traits and high ability to use nitrogen efficiently (NUE). However, only limited genomic or transcriptomic data of O. longistaminata are currently available.


In this study we present the first comprehensive characterization of the O. longistaminata root transcriptome using 454 pyrosequencing. One sequencing run using a normalized cDNA library from O. longistaminata roots adapted to low N conditions generated 337,830 reads, which assembled into 41,189 contigs and 30,178 singletons. By similarity search against protein databases, putative functions were assigned to over 34,510 uni-ESTs. Comparison with ESTs derived from cultivated rice collections revealed expressed genes across different plant species, however 16.7% of the O. longistaminata ESTs had not been detected as expressed in O. sativa. Additionally, 15.7% had no significant similarity to known sequences. RT-PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed the expression of selected novel transcripts in O. longistaminata.


Our results show that one run using a Genome Sequencer FLX from 454 Life Science/Roche generates sufficient genomic information for adequate de novo assembly of a large number of transcripts in a wild rice species, O. longistaminata. The generated sequence data are publicly available and will facilitate gene discovery in O. longistaminata and rice functional genomic studies. The large number of abundant of novel ESTs suggests different metabolic activity in O. longistaminata roots in comparison to O. sativa roots.