Physiological and transcriptome analysis of changes in endogenous hormone and sugar content during the formation of tender asparagus stems

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BMC Plant Biol. 2024 Jun 19;24(1):581. doi: 10.1186/s12870-024-05277-0.

ABSTRACT

Asparagus is a nutritionally dense stem vegetable whose growth and development are correlated with its quality and yield. To investigate the dynamic changes and underlying mechanisms during the elongation and growth process of asparagus stems, we documented the growth pattern of asparagus and selected stem segments from four consecutive elongation stages using physiological and transcriptome analyses. Notably, the growth rate of asparagus accelerated at a length of 25 cm. A significant decrease in the concentration of sucrose, fructose, glucose, and additional sugars was observed in the elongation region of tender stems. Conversely, the levels of auxin and gibberellins(GAs) were elevated along with increased activity of enzymes involved in sucrose degradation. A significant positive correlation existed between auxin, GAs, and enzymes involved in sucrose degradation. The ABA content gradually increased with stem elongation. The tissue section showed that cell elongation is an inherent manifestation of stem elongation. The differential genes screened by transcriptome analysis were enriched in pathways such as starch and sucrose metabolism, phytohormone synthesis metabolism, and signal transduction. The expression levels of genes such as ARF, GA20ox, NCED, PIF4, and otherswere upregulated during stem elongation, while DAO, GA2ox, and other genes were downregulated. The gene expression level was consistent with changes in hormone content and influenced the cell length elongation. Additionally, the expression results of RT-qPCR were consistent with RNA-seq. The observed variations in gene expression levels, endogenous hormones and sugar changes during the elongation and growth of asparagus tender stems offer valuable insights for future investigations into the molecular mechanisms of asparagus stem growth and development and provide a theoretical foundation for cultivation and production practices.

PMID:38898382 | DOI:10.1186/s12870-024-05277-0