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Transcriptome sequencing and analysis of sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans Lour.)


Osmanthus fragrans is a woody, evergreen species of shrubs and small trees that is extensively planted in sub-tropical and temperate climates as an ornamental plant in gardens and for its health benefits. The flower color ranges from ivory to orange to pink among different varieties and even color difference during the whole blossom in the sweet osmanthus. Sweet osmanthus is widely cultivated throughout China and other countries due to its prominent fragrance, colorful flowers, and medicinal properties. However, the scanty genomic resources in the Olea family have greatly hindered further exploration of its genetic mechanism on these economically important traits. In this study, transcriptome sequencing of O. fragrans was performed using the Illumina HighSeqTM2000 sequencing platform. Next generation sequencing (NGS) of the transcriptome of O. fragrans produced 31.7G of clean bases (211,266,818 clean reads) that were assembled into 256,774 transcripts and 117,595 unigenes. Of them, 197 and 237 candidate genes involved in fragrance and pigment biosynthesis respectively were identified based on function annotation. Meanwhile, 1 unnamed protein and 468 functional unknown genes were also identified. Furthermore, mRNA sequencing expression profiling of O. fragrans were compared to previous genes’. In summary, this comprehensive transcriptome dataset allows the identification of genes associated with several major metabolic pathways and provides a useful public information platform for further functional genomic studiesin O. fragrans Lour.

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Geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate


Phytoene synthase


15-Cis-phytoene desaturase


Zeta-carotene desaturase


Prolycopene isomerase


Carotenoids isomerase


β-lycopene cyclase


ε-lycopene cyclase


beta-carotene 3-hydroxylase


Zeaxanthin epoxidase


Violaxanthin de-epoxidase


Capsanthin/capsorubin synthase


Neoxanthin synthase


9-Cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase


Xanthoxin dehydrogenase


Abscisic -aldehyde oxidase


(+)-Abscisic acid 8′-hydroxylase




Chalcone synthase


Chalcone isomerase


Coumaroylquinate (coumaroyl shikimate) 3′-monooxygenase


Naringenin 3-dioxygenase


2-Hydroxyisoflavanone dehydratase


Flavonoid 3′-monooxygenase


Leucoanthocyanidin dioxygenase


Bifunctional dihydroflavonol 4-reductase/flavanone 4-reductase


Anthocyanidin synthase


Anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase


Anthocyanidin reductase


Flavonol synthase


Flavonol 3-O-methyltransferase






Coumaroylquinate (coumaroylshikimate) 3′-monooxygenase


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We appreciate the technical support for Illumina sequencing and initial data analysis from Novogene Bioinformatics Institute Beijing, China. We are grateful to Zong-Ming Cheng from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for comments on the manuscript. We thank the anonymous referees and the editor for their comments and suggestions that helped improve the manuscript. We also thank the assistance provided by Yali Wang, Chunjun Wang, Tingting Shi, Ping Wang and Min Ling in preparing sweet osmanthus flowers. This study was supported by the Agriculture-Forestry Plant Germplasm Resources Exploration, Innovation and Utilization Project of the National Twelve-Five Science and Technology Support Program (2013BA001B06), and the Advantages Discipline Construction Engineering Project of Colleges and Universities in the Jiangsu province.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Liang Gui Wang.

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Mu, H.N., Li, H.G., Wang, L.G. et al. Transcriptome sequencing and analysis of sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans Lour.). Genes Genom 36, 777–788 (2014).

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  • Sweet osmanthus
  • Transcriptome sequencing
  • Bioinformatic analysis
  • Flower pigment