Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth. (Patchouli) is an important aromatic and medicinal plant and widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as in the perfume industry. Patchoulol is the primary bioactive component in P. cablin, its biosynthesis has attracted widespread interests. Previous studies have surveyed the putative genes involved in patchoulol biosynthesis using next-generation sequencing method; however, technical limitations generated by short-read sequencing restrict the yield of full-length genes. Additionally, little is known about the expression pattern of genes especially patchoulol biosynthesis related genes in response to methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Our understanding of patchoulol biosynthetic pathway still remained largely incomplete to date.In this study, we analyzed the morphological character and volatile chemical compounds of P. cablin cv. 'Zhanxiang', and 39 volatile chemical components were detected in the patchouli leaf using GC-MS, most of which were sesquiterpenes. Furthermore, high-quality RNA isolated from leaves and stems of P. cablin were used to generate the first full-length transcriptome of P. cablin using PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq). In total, 9.7 Gb clean data and 82,335 full-length UniTransModels were captured. 102 transcripts were annotated as 16 encoding enzymes involved in patchouli alcohol biosynthesis. Accorded with the uptrend of patchoulol content, the vast majority of genes related to the patchoulol biosynthesis were up-regulated after MeJA treatment, indicating that MeJA led to an increasing synthesis of patchoulol through activating the expression level of genes involved in biosynthesis pathway of patchoulol. Moreover, expression pattern analysis also revealed that transcription factors participated in JA regulation of patchoulol biosynthesis were differentially expressed.The current study comprehensively reported the morphological specificity, volatile chemical compositions and transcriptome characterization of the Chinese-cultivated P. cablin cv. 'Zhanxiang', these results contribute to our better understanding of the physiological and molecular features of patchouli, especially the molecular mechanism of biosynthesis of patchoulol. Our full-length transcriptome data also provides a valuable genetic resource for further studies in patchouli.
Journal: BMC plant biology