Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

De novo characterization of the Anthurium transcriptome and analysis of its digital gene expression under cold stress

Dan-Qing Tian1, Xiao-Yun Pan1, Yong-Ming Yu1, Wei-Yong Wang1, Fei Zhang2, Ya-Ying Ge1, Xiao-Lan Shen1, Fu-Quan Shen1 and Xiao-Jing Liu3*

Author Affiliations

1 Flower research and development center, Zhejiang academy of agricultural sciences, Hangzhou 311202, China

2 College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

3 Institute of Botany, Jiangsu Province & Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:827  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-827

Published: 25 November 2013



Anthurium andraeanum is one of the most popular tropical flowers. In temperate and cold zones, a much greater risk of cold stress occurs in the supply of Anthurium plants. Unlike the freeze-tolerant model plants, Anthurium plants are particularly sensitive to low temperatures. Improvement of chilling tolerance in Anthurium may significantly increase its production and extend its shelf-life. To date, no previous genomic information has been reported in Anthurium plants.


Using Illumina sequencing technology, we generated over two billion base of high-quality sequence in Anthurium, and demonstrated de novo assembly and annotation of genes without prior genome information. These reads were assembled into 44,382 unigenes (mean length = 560 bp). Based on similarity search with known protein in the non-redundant (nr) protein database, 27396 unigenes (62%) were functionally annotated with a cut-off E-value of 10-5. Further, DGE tags were mapped to the assembled transcriptome for gene expression analysis under cold stress. In total, 4363 differentially expressed genes were identified. Among these genes, 292, 805 and 708 genes were up-regulated after 1-h, 5-h and 24-h cold treatment, respectively. Then we mapped these cold-induced genes to the KEGG database. Specific enrichment was observed in photosynthesis pathway, metabolic pathways and oxidative phosphorylation pathway in 1-h cold-treated plants. After a 5-h cold treatment, the metabolic pathways and oxidative phosphorylation pathway were significantly identified as the top two pathways. After 24-h cold treatment, mRNA surveillance pathway, RNA transport pathway and plant-pathogen interaction pathway were significantly enriched. Together, a total of 39 cold-inducible transcription factors were identified, including subsets of AP2/ERF, Zinc figure, NAC, MYB and bZIP family members.


Our study is the first to provide the transcriptome sequence resource for Anthurium plants, and demonstrate its digital gene expression profiling under cold conditions using the assembled transcriptome data for reference. These data provides a valuable resource for genetic and genomic studies under abiotic conditions for Anthurium plants.

Anthurium; Cold; Transcriptome; Digital gene expression