Planta Med 2011; 77(4): 394-400
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1250331
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Original Papers
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Transcriptome Analysis of Taxus cuspidata Needles Based on 454 Pyrosequencing

Qiong Wu1 , Chao Sun1 , Hongmei Luo1 , Ying Li1 , Yunyun Niu1 , Yongzhen Sun1 , Aiping Lu2 , Shilin Chen1
  • 1Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (IMPLAD), Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union , Medical College, Beijing, P. R. China
  • 2Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China
Further Information

Publication History

received April 25, 2010 revised July 22, 2010

accepted August 14, 2010

Publication Date:
22 September 2010 (online)


Taxus species are highly valued as renewable resources for the production of Taxol. Despite the commercial and medicinal importance of Taxus, little genomic information is available for yew species, and Taxol biosynthesis still needs to be fully elucidated. In this study, 454 pyrosequencing technology was employed to produce an expressed sequence tag (EST) from the needles of Taxus cuspidata. In all, 81 148 high-quality reads from the needles of T. cuspidata were produced using Roche GS FLX Titanium. A total of 20 557 unique sequences were obtained, including 12 975 singletons and 7582 contigs. Approximately 14 095 unique sequences were annotated by a similarity search against five public databases. Gene ontology revealed 11 220 unique sequences that could be assigned to 45 vocabularies. In the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes mapping, 2403 transcripts were established as associated with 3821 biochemical pathways. Enzymes in the plastidial 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway were well represented. Candidates of the putative genes of Taxol biosynthesis were revealed, including those in the remaining steps. In total, 291 transcripts were identified, representing putative homologues of transcription factors. Furthermore, 753 simple sequence repeat motifs, which are potential molecular markers for genetic application, were identified. These results provide the largest EST collections in Taxus and will contribute to biosynthetic and biochemical studies that lead to drug improvement.


Prof. Dr. Shilin Chen

Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (IMPLAD)
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College

No. 151, Malianwa North Road, HaiDian District

Beijing 100193

People's Republic of China

Phone: +86 10 62 89 97 00

Fax: +86 10 62 89 97 76