Research Article

Selection of reference genes for expression analyses of red-fleshed sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)

Published: December 28, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 18440-18451 DOI: 10.4238/2015.December.23.32

Abstract

Red-fleshed oranges (Citrus sinensis) contain high levels of carotenoids and lycopene. The growing consumer demand for products with health benefits has increased interest in these types of Citrus cultivars as a potential source of nutraceuticals. However, little is known about the physiology of these cultivars under Brazilian conditions. Transcriptome and gene expression analyses are important tools in the breeding and management of red-fleshed sweet orange cultivars. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction is a method of quantifying gene expression, but various standardizations are required to obtain precise, accurate, and specific results. Among the standardizations required, the choice of suitable stable reference genes is fundamental. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of 11 candidate genes using various tissue and organ samples from healthy plants or leaves from citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing)-symptomatic plants of a Brazilian red-fleshed cultivar (‘Sanguínea de Mombuca’), in order to select the most suitable reference gene for investigating gene expression under these conditions. geNorm and NormFinder identified genes that encoded translation initiation factor 3, ribosomal protein L35, and translation initiation factor 5A as the most stable genes under the biological conditions tested, and genes coding actin (ACT) and the subunit of the PSI reaction center subunit III were the least stable. Phosphatase, malate dehydrogenase, and ACT were the most stable genes in the leaf samples of infected plants.

Red-fleshed oranges (Citrus sinensis) contain high levels of carotenoids and lycopene. The growing consumer demand for products with health benefits has increased interest in these types of Citrus cultivars as a potential source of nutraceuticals. However, little is known about the physiology of these cultivars under Brazilian conditions. Transcriptome and gene expression analyses are important tools in the breeding and management of red-fleshed sweet orange cultivars. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction is a method of quantifying gene expression, but various standardizations are required to obtain precise, accurate, and specific results. Among the standardizations required, the choice of suitable stable reference genes is fundamental. The objective of this study was to evaluate the stability of 11 candidate genes using various tissue and organ samples from healthy plants or leaves from citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing)-symptomatic plants of a Brazilian red-fleshed cultivar (‘Sanguínea de Mombuca’), in order to select the most suitable reference gene for investigating gene expression under these conditions. geNorm and NormFinder identified genes that encoded translation initiation factor 3, ribosomal protein L35, and translation initiation factor 5A as the most stable genes under the biological conditions tested, and genes coding actin (ACT) and the subunit of the PSI reaction center subunit III were the least stable. Phosphatase, malate dehydrogenase, and ACT were the most stable genes in the leaf samples of infected plants.