Transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses reveal several critical metabolic pathways and candidate genes involved in resin biosynthesis in Pinus massoniana

  • Qingsong Bai
  • Boxiang He
  • Yanling Cai
  • Huiming Lian
  • Qian ZhangEmail author
Original Article


Pine resin, which typically consists of terpenoids, is a natural product used in various industrial applications. Oleoresin can be obtained from the xylem tissue by wounding the stem bark. Pinus massoniana (masson pine) is an important resin-tapping tree species that originated in southern China. Masson pines with different genetic backgrounds typically have different resin-yielding capacities (RYCs). However, the mechanisms underlying high resin yield in masson pines are unclear. The aim of this study was to identify the possible genetic regulation pathways and functional genes that influence the resin yield. In this study, we conducted transcriptomic and metabolomic studies of masson pine secondary xylem with high, medium, and low RYCs. A total of 230,068 unigenes and 3894 metabolites were identified from the tissue of the secondary xylem. Several differentially expressed regulation factors, including WRKY, bHLH, and ERF, and functional genes such as PKc and LRR-RLKs, were identified among these masson pines. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways were mainly focused on diterpenoid biosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, and ABC transporters. Furthermore, integration of the transcriptomic and metabolomic data indicated that the PKc- and LRR-RLK-related regulatory and metabolic pathways may play critical roles in the biosynthesis of terpenoids. These above results improve our understanding of the biosynthesis mechanism of oleoresin in P. massoniana and facilitate further research work into the functional analysis of these candidate genes.


Pinus massoniana Resin-yielding Transcriptomic Metabolomic Biosynthesis of terpenoid Candidate gene 



We would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31800553).

Authors’ contributions

BQ and ZQ designed the study. BQ took the experiments, performed the data analyses, and wrote the manuscript. HB, CY, LH, and ZQ collected the materials and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

438_2019_1624_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1004 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1004 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qingsong Bai
    • 1
  • Boxiang He
    • 1
  • Yanling Cai
    • 1
  • Huiming Lian
    • 1
  • Qian Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Silviculture, Protection and UtilizationGuangdong Academy of ForestryGuangzhouChina

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