Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 349–358 | Cite as

Transcriptome analysis of Hevea brasiliensis in response to exogenous methyl jasmonate provides novel insights into regulation of jasmonate-elicited rubber biosynthesis

  • Jin-Ping LiuEmail author
  • Jin Hu
  • Yan-Hui Liu
  • Cui-Ping Yang
  • Yu-Fen Zhuang
  • Xiu-Li Guo
  • Yi-Jian Li
  • Liangsheng ZhangEmail author
Research Article


The phytohomorne methyl jasmonate (MeJA) is known to trigger extensive reprogramming of gene expression leading to transcriptional activation of many secondary metabolic pathways. However, natural rubber is a commercially important secondary metabolite and little is known about the genetic and genomic basis of jasmonate-elicited rubber biosynthesis in rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of H. brasiliensis bark treated with 1 g lanolin paste containing 0.02% w/w MeJA for 24 h (M2) and 0.04% w/w MeJA for 24 h (M4) was performed. A total of 2950 and 2850 differentially expressed genes in M2 and M4 compared with control (C) were respectively detected. Key genes involved in 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate, rubber biosynthesis, glycolysis and carbon fixation (Calvin cycle) pathway were found to be up-regulated by MeJA treatment. Particularly, the expression of 3-hydroxy-3-metylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase in MVA pathway was down-regulated by MeJA treatment, but the expression of farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPS) and cis-prenyltransferase (CPT, or rubber transferase) in rubber biosynthesis pathway were up-regulated by MeJA treatment. Up-regulation of critical genes in JA biosynthesis in response to MeJA treatment exhibited the self-activation of JA biosynthesis. In addition, up-regulated genes of great regulatory importance in cross-talk between JA and other hormone signaling, and of transcriptional regulation were identified. The increased expression levels of FPS and CPT in rubber biosynthesis pathway possibly resulted in an increased latex production in rubber tree treated with MeJA. The present results provide insights into the mechanism by which MeJA activates the rubber biosynthesis and the transcriptome data can also serve as the foundation for future research into the molecular basis for MeJA regulation of other cellular processes.


Rubber tree Methyl jasmonate Rubber biosynthesis RNA sequencing Transcriptome 



We would like to thank Prof. Tang and Dr. Fang (Rubber Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences) for their support with the genome sequencing data of rubber tree. This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31560573) and the Hainan Province Major Science and Technology Project (ZDZX2013023).

Authors contributions

J.P.L. supervised the experiments and wrote the manuscript. J. H. conducted the bioinformatics studies and carried out qRT-PCR validation. L.S.Z supervised the he bioinformatics studies and revised the paper. Y.H.L participated in the bioinformatics studies. C.P.Y. and Y.F.Z. participated in the qRT-PCR validation. X.L.G and Y.J.L. participated in collection of plant materials. All the authors read and approved the manuscript for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Ethical approval

This study was conducted according to compliance with ethical standards. This study does not involve the use of any human, animal and endangered or protected plant species as materials.

Supplementary material

12298_2018_529_MOESM1_ESM.doc (37 kb)
Table S1: The forward and reverse primers used in validation experiment of gene expression by qRT-PCR (DOC 37 kb)
12298_2018_529_MOESM2_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Table S2: Overview of the sequencing and mapping in this study (DOC 34 kb)
12298_2018_529_MOESM3_ESM.xls (34 kb)
Table S3: The top 20 most up- and down-regulated genes between C and M2, and C and M4. (XLS 34 kb)
12298_2018_529_MOESM4_ESM.xls (23 kb)
Table S4: DEGs were significantly enriched in glycolysis and carbon fixation (Calvin cycle) pathway in M2 and M4 compared with C. (XLS 23 kb)
12298_2018_529_MOESM5_ESM.xls (24 kb)
Table S5: DEGs in phytohormone signaling in M2 and M4 compared with C. (XLS 24 kb)
12298_2018_529_MOESM6_ESM.xls (46 kb)
Table S6: DEGs in transcriptional regulation in M2 and M4 compared with C. (XLS 46 kb)


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Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Ping Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jin Hu
    • 1
  • Yan-Hui Liu
    • 2
  • Cui-Ping Yang
    • 1
  • Yu-Fen Zhuang
    • 1
  • Xiu-Li Guo
    • 1
  • Yi-Jian Li
    • 3
  • Liangsheng Zhang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources, Tropical Agriculture and Forestry InstituteHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  2. 2.Center for Genomics and Biotechnology, Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Genetics, Breeding and Multiple Utilization of Crops, Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Haixia Applied Plant Systems BiologyFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Service Center of Science and Technology, Rubber Research InstituteChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesDanzhouChina

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