Background: India is rich in many potential medicinal plants, Glycyrrhiza glabra popularly known as Liquorice have been used in traditional formulation. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra roots) has been used in more than 1200 formulations in traditional Chinese herbal medicines as major formulations. There are many essential uses of this plant in industries like food, herbal, cosmetics, nutraceuticals etc. Due to its high demand in the market, it is imported from foreign countries and not available locally of superior quality. In India, Taverniera cuneifolia has been described as a potent substitute for Licorice. Glycyrrhizin is one of the most useful bioactive sesquiterpenoid present in this plant. Since there are no molecular studies on this plant the present experiment focuses on in-depth transcriptome analysis in Taverniera cuneifolia.
Results: Transcriptomic analysis of Taverniera cuneifolia roots resulted in a total of ~7.29 Gb of raw data, generated from Ion Torrent platform (PROTON). The pre-processing of raw reads 55,991,233 was carried out using FastQC and FastXTool kit (Andrews, 2010). The pre-processing of raw reads resulted in high-quality reads, assembled into 36,896 contigs by Trinity assembler, finally assembled using CD-HIT (85% sequence similarity). Assembled transcripts were functionally annotated using Blast X (Nr) databases. A total of 279 metabolic enriched pathway were identified which included pathways like Sesquiterpenoid and triterpenoid pathway which were involved in synthesis of secondary metabolite Glycyrrhizin biosynthesis. The enzymes, squalene monooxygenase, farnesyl-diphosphate farnesyltransferase, beta amyrin synthase, beta-amyrin 24-hydroxylase, were identified by functional annotation of transcriptome data. There were several other pathways like terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, steroid biosynthesis, Carotenoid biosynthesis, Flavonoids biosynthesis etc. which have been reported first time from this plant.
Conclusion: Transcriptome analysis of T.cuneifolia provides the first time information about the gene and enzymes involved in Glycyrrhizin biosynthesis and other secondary metabolites. The transcriptome data will help in development of Molecular markers based on the EST.
Significance: Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra roots) is used as traditional Chinese herbal medicines in majority of formulations. Licorice is also used in Industries like food, herbal and cosmetics etc. due to its high demand in the market it is imported from foreign countries and is not available locally of superior quality (Liu et al. 2015). In India, Taverniera cuneifolia has been described as a potent substitute of Licorice, it has been quoted in ancient books like Charak Samhita during the Nigandu period (kamboj, 2000) and Barda dungar ni Vanaspati ane upyog (Thaker 1910). It has been used as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, wound healing, blood purifier etc. Transcriptomic studies will assist in understanding the basic molecular structure, function and organization of information within the genome of Taverniera cuniefolia. This study will help us to identify the key metabolites their expressions and genes responsible for their production.
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