Transcriptome profiling of barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumentacea L.) during grain development to reveal the genomic insights into iron accumulation


Heliyon. 2024 May 11;10(10):e30925. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e30925. eCollection 2024 May 30.


In the realm of food nutritional security, the development of mineral-rich grains assumes a pivotal role in combating malnutrition. Within the scope of the current investigation, we endeavoured to discern the transcripts accountable for the improved accumulation of grain-Fe within Indian barnyard millet. This pursuit entailed transcriptome sequencing of genotypes BAR-1433 (with high Fe content) and BAR-1423 (with low Fe content) during two distinct stages of spike development-spike emergence and milking stage. In the context of spike emergence, we identified a cohort of 895 up-regulated transcripts and 126 down-regulated transcripts that delineated the difference between the high and low grain-Fe genotypes. In contrast, during the milking stage, the tally of up-regulated transcripts reached 436, while down-regulated transcripts numbered 285. The transcripts that consistently ascended in both developmental stages underwent functional annotation, aligning their roles with nucleolar proteins, metal-nicotianamine transporters, ribonucleoprotein complexes, vinorine synthases, cellulose synthases, auxin response factors, embryogenesis abundant proteins, cytochrome c oxidases, and zinc finger BED domain-containing proteins. Meanwhile, a heterogeneous spectrum of transcripts exhibited differential expression and upregulation throughout the distinct stages. These transcripts encompassed various facets, such as ABC Transporter family proteins, Calcium-dependent kinase family, Ferritin, Metal ion binding, Iron-sulfur cluster binding, Cytochrome family, Zinc finger transcription factor family, Ferredoxin-NADP reductase type 1 family, Putative laccase, Multicopper oxidase family, and Terpene synthase family. To authenticate the reliability of these transcripts, six contigs representing probable functions, including metal transporters, iron sulfur coordination, metal ion binding, auxin-responsive GH3-like protein 2, and cytochrome P450 71B16, were harnessed for primer design. Subsequently, these primers were utilized in the validation process through qRT-PCR, with the outcomes aligning harmoniously with the transcriptome results. This study chronicles a constellation of genes linked to elevated iron content within barnyard millet, showcasing a proof of concept for leveraging transcriptome insights in marker-assisted selection to fortify barnyard millet with iron. This marks the inaugural comprehensive transcriptome analysis delineating transcripts associated with varying levels of grain-iron content during the panicle developmental stages within the barnyard millet paradigm.

PMID:38778996 | PMC:PMC11109794 | DOI:10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e30925