Transcriptome analysis reveals key cold-stress-responsive genes in winter rapeseed (Brassica rapa L.)

Li Ma, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Lijun Liu, Yuhong Zhao, Yu Chang, Yuanyuan Pu, Xiucun Zeng, Yaozhao Xu, Junyan Wu, Yan Fang, Jing Bai, Wancang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Low ambient air temperature limits the growth and selection of crops in cold regions, and cold tolerance is a survival strategy for overwintering plants in cold winters. Studies of differences in transcriptional levels of winter rapeseed (Brassica rapa L.) under cold stress can improve our understanding of transcript-mediated cold stress responses. In this study, two winter rapeseed varieties, Longyou-7 (cold-tolerant) and Lenox (cold-sensitive), were used to reveal morphological, physiological, and transcriptome levels after 24 h of cold stress, and 24 h at room temperature, to identify the mechanism of tolerance to cold stress. Compared to Lenox, Longyou-7 has a shorter growth period and greater belowground mass, and exhibits stronger physiological activity after cold stress. Subsequently, more complete genomic annotation was obtained by sequencing. A total of 10,251 and 10,972 differentially expressed genes (DEG) were identified in Longyou-7 and Lenox, respectively. Six terms closely related to cold stress were found by the Gene Ontology (GO) function annotation. Some of these terms had greater upregulated expression in Longyou-7, and the expression of these genes was verified by qRT-PCR. Most of these DEGs are involved in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, ribosome biogenesis, MAPK signaling pathway, basal transcription factors, and photosynthesis. Analysis of the genes involved in the peroxisome pathway revealed that Longyou-7 and Lenox may have different metabolic patterns. Some transcription factors may play an important role in winter rapeseed tolerance to cold stress, and Longyou-7 is slightly slower than Lenox. Our results provide a transcriptome database and candidate genes for further study of winter rapeseed cold stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1071
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was financially supported by the Agriculture Research System of China (CARS-12), Utilization Technology of Rapeseed Heterosis and Creation of Strong Heterosis of China (No. 2016YFD0101300), the Agriculture Research System of Gansu Province (GARS-TSZ-1), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31860388).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Brassica rapa L.
  • Cold tolerance
  • Differentially expressed genes
  • Peroxisome biogenesis


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