Most of the differential metabolites are selected during the domestication of buckwheat

Buckwheat flowers Courtesy of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Recently, the team of the Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, systematically described the metabolomic variation map of buckwheat during the domestication process, revealed the genetic mechanism of the directional changes of important metabolites of buckwheat, and provided a theoretical basis for the genetic improvement of medicinal properties and disease resistance of buckwheat. The findings were published online in the Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Tartary buckwheat belongs to the genus Buckwheat in the Tateaceae family, and is an important coarse grain crop that originated in China. Because of its strong adaptability to the environment and short growth period, it is the main food crop in cold and cool areas at high altitudes. Buckwheat is rich in metabolites and rich in a variety of bioactive substances, soluble dietary fiber, vitamins and mineral elements. Among them, flavonoids, anthraquinones, etc. have the effects of reducing the three highs, preventing and treating cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and a variety of chronic diseases. Previous studies have found that during the domestication of buckwheat, the content of flavonoids such as rutin is reduced and disease resistance is weakened, but the genetic basis behind this is not clear.

The team used 200 mature grains of Tartary buckwheat microcore germplasm resources as research materials to construct a database of Tartary buckwheat metabolome, which contains 567 known metabolites and 525 unknown metabolites.

Comparing the metabolome of NL and SL in local cultivated populations of buckwheat with HW in wild groups, it was found that there were 245 and 265 significantly different metabolites in NL and SL, respectively, including flavonoids such as catechins, epicatechins, and proanthocyanidins B2. Experimental analysis found that 588 localization signals were located within the acclimation interval, indicating that most of the differential metabolites were selected during acclimation.

In addition, during the domestication of buckwheat, the resistance of buckwheat blight is reduced, which seriously threatens the increase and stability of buckwheat yield. The researchers evaluated the resistance of 150 buckwheat varieties and found that their disease resistance was positively correlated with the content of the secondary metabolite salicylic acid (SA).

Further studies found that overexpression of the glycoside hydrolase gene FtSAGH1 in buckwheat hairy roots could increase salicylic acid content. Ectopic expression of FtSAGH1 in Arabidopsis thaliana can improve resistance to Rhizoctonia witheris.

In addition, the study also revealed the regulatory mechanism of proanthocyanidin synthesis and the molecular mechanism by which the glycosidtransferase FtUGT74L2 affects the directed selection of anthraquinone emodin.

This study is the first large-scale metabolite analysis of Tartary buckwheat and will contribute to genetic improvements in the medicinal properties and disease resistance of Tartary buckwheat.

The research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. (Source: Li Chen, China Science Daily)

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