Molecular Breeding

, 38:145 | Cite as

Temperature change shortens maturation time in Lilium with evidence for molecular mechanisms

  • Wei Ge
  • Jinteng Cui
  • Yang Shao
  • Xiaotian Bian
  • Yuehui Jia
  • Kezhong ZhangEmail author


Lilium bulbs take at least 3 years to grow to commercial size; thus, finding ways to shorten the time to maturation would greatly reduce the cost of cultivation. Here, we used bulbs of Lilium OT “Robina” to test a short period of lowered temperature as a means to induce phase transition. The suitable temperature treatment to induce phase transition was 15 °C for 4 weeks. In this treatment, the main stem grew out, which shortened the growth cycle by at least 1 year compared with bulbs grown using standard temperatures. Moreover, we found potential molecular mechanisms to explain the induced phase transition. Using transcriptome sequencing, we found 373 differentially expressed genes, of which 172 were upregulated and 201 were downregulated. Many of the differentially expressed genes were involved in key regulatory pathways. The expression patterns of two key genes SPL9 and SPL15 were examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that SPL9 and SPL15 played important roles in the age and phase transition of Lilium. This study provides a method for reducing the maturation time of Lilium bulbs and provides potential target genes that future researchers and breeding programs can pursue.


Lilium bulbs Temperature change Phase transition Transcriptome Molecular mechanism 



The authors hope to express their appreciation to the reviewers for this manuscript.

Funding information

This project was supported by the Beijing Natural Science Fund-Municipal Education Commission Jointly Funded Projects (grant No. KZ201810020029) and Beijing Municipal Education Commission (grant no. CEFF-PXM2018_014207_000024).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11032_2018_904_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (8 kb)
Online Resource 1 Primers used in qRT-PCR (PDF 8 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (34 kb)
Online Resource 2 List of data output quality (PDF 34 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (32 kb)
Online Resource 3 Comparison results between all-Unigenes and public databases (PDF 31 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (491 kb)
Online Resource 4 Distribution map of comparison species in Nr library (PDF 490 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (4.9 mb)
Online Resource 5 GO ontology of differentially expressed Lilium genes during the vegetative transition phase. Genes were categorized according to biological process, cellular component or molecular function. (PDF 4970 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM6_ESM.pdf (2.7 mb)
Online Resource 6 KEGG classification of differentially expressed Lilium genes during the vegetative transition phase (PDF 2717 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM7_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
Online Resource 7 The analysis of differentially expressed Lilium genes between LS25T and LSa15T during the vegetative transition phase (PDF 1442 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM8_ESM.pdf (34 kb)
Online Resource 8 Gene Ontology classification of differentially expressed genes in samples (PDF 34 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM9_ESM.pdf (31 kb)
Online Resource 9 Significant enrichment of differentially expressed genes in KEGG (PDF 30 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM10_ESM.pdf (68 kb)
Online Resource 10 Functional classification of differentially expressed genes (PDF 68 kb)
11032_2018_904_MOESM11_ESM.pdf (3.8 mb)
Online Resource 11 Relative expression level of SPL9 (A) and SPL15 (B) in different stages of Lilium. After culturing for 20 weeks at 25°C, bulbs were subjected to either T1 treatment at 25°C for 4 weeks or T2, 15°C for 4 weeks. Bars represent mean values of three replicates ± standard error. (PDF 3911 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Ge
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jinteng Cui
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yang Shao
    • 1
  • Xiaotian Bian
    • 1
  • Yuehui Jia
    • 4
  • Kezhong Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Landscape ArchitectureBeijing University of AgricultureBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Beijing Laboratory of Urban and Rural Ecological EnvironmentBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Beijing Engineering Research Center of Rural Landscape Planning and DesignBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.College of Plant Science and TechnologyBeijing University of AgricultureBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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