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Use of digital gene expression to discriminate gene expression differences in early generations of resynthesized Brassica napus and its diploid progenitors

Jinjin Jiang1, Yanlin Shao1, Kun Du1, Liping Ran1, Xiaoping Fang2 and Youping Wang1*

Author affiliations

1 Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China

2 Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430062, China

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2013, 14:72  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-72

Published: 1 February 2013



Polyploidy is an important evolutionary mechanism in flowering plants that often induces immediate extensive changes in gene expression through genomic merging and doubling. Brassica napus L. is one of the most economically important polyploid oil crops and has been broadly studied as an example of polyploid crop. RNA-seq is a recently developed technique for transcriptome study, which could be in choice for profiling gene expression pattern in polyploids.


We examined the global gene expression patterns of the first four generations of resynthesized B. napus (F1–F4), its diploid progenitors B. rapa and B. oleracea, and natural B. napus using digital gene expression analysis. Almost 42 million clean tags were generated using Illumina technology to produce the expression data for 25959 genes, which account for 63% of the annotated B. rapa genome. More than 56% of the genes were transcribed from both strands, which indicate the importance of RNA-mediated gene regulation in polyploidization. Tag mapping of the B. rapa genome generated 19023, 18547, 24383, 20659, 18881, 20692, and 19955 annotated genes for the B. rapa, B. oleracea, F1–F4 of synthesized B. napus, and natural B. napus libraries, respectively. The unambiguous tag-mapped genes in the libraries were functionally categorized via gene ontological analysis. Thousands of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified and revealed the substantial changes in F1–F4. Among the 20 most DEGs are DNA binding/transcription factor, cyclin-dependent protein kinase, epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, and glycine-rich protein. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis of the DEGs suggested approximately 120 biological pathways.


The systematic deep sequencing analysis provided a comprehensive understanding of the transcriptome complexity of early generations of synthesized B. napus. This information broadens our understanding of the mechanisms of B. napus polyploidization and contributes to molecular and genetic research by enriching the Brassica database.