Molecular Breeding

, 37:153 | Cite as

Rapid identification of the purple stem (Ps) gene of Chinese kale (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra) in a segregation distortion population by bulked segregant analysis and RNA sequencing

  • Qiwei Tang
  • Mengyu Tian
  • Guanghui An
  • Weiyi Zhang
  • Jiongjiong Chen
  • Chenghuan YanEmail author


Abundant anthocyanins accumulate in many flowers, leaves, fruits, as well as stems. In this study, an F2 segregating population derived from a cross between Chinese kale with a purple stem and kale with a green stem was used to decipher the genetic basis for the stem color. Bulked segregant analysis in combination with RNA sequencing (BSR-seq) was used to genetically map the causal gene for the purple stem (Ps), and the allele frequency difference between the two pools showed a single peak on chromosome C09. Ps was fine-mapped to the 0.32 cM interval with 406 kb sequences. A gene-encoding dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), an enzyme in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway, was differentially expressed between the two pools, and was identified as the candidate gene for the purple stem in Chinese kale. Sequence analysis revealed that 1 bp was inserted in the coding sequence of exon 2 of the BoDRF gene in green kale, causing frameshift and loss of function. The expression level of the BoDFR gene was significantly lower than the Chinese kale cultivar with a purple stem. The genetic results of the Ps gene will be useful for future development of purple vegetables.


Chinese kale Anthocyanin BSR-seq Genetic mapping Dihydroflavonol 4-reductase 


Author contributions

C.Y. designed the experiment. Q.T. and M.T. finished the major experiments. G.A. planted the population, detected the phenotypes and extracted DNA. W.Z. analyzed the BSR-seq. C.Y. wrote the manuscript, with help from J.C.


This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities [2662015PY084] and [2014PY031] and the National Natural Science Foundation of China [31471162] and [31572131].

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary material

11032_2017_752_MOESM1_ESM.docx (82 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 82 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Horticultural Crop Biology and Genetic improvement (Central Region), MOA, College of Horticulture and Forestry SciencesHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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