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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 782635, 11 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Polygala tenuifolia Transcriptome and Description of Secondary Metabolite Biosynthetic Pathways by Illumina Sequencing

1Research Institute of Economics Crop, Shanxi Academy of Agriculture Science, Fenyang, Shanxi 032200, China
2Modern Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanxi University, No. 92 Wucheng Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China
3College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shanxi University, No. 92 Wucheng Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China
4Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China

Received 22 June 2015; Accepted 3 August 2015

Academic Editor: Xiaohan Yang

Copyright © 2015 Hongling Tian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Radix polygalae, the dried roots of Polygala tenuifolia and P. sibirica, is one of the most well-known traditional Chinese medicinal plants. Radix polygalae contains various saponins, xanthones, and oligosaccharide esters and these compounds are responsible for several pharmacological properties. To provide basic breeding information, enhance molecular biological analysis, and determine secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways of P. tenuifolia, we applied Illumina sequencing technology and de novo assembly. We also applied this technique to gain an overview of P. tenuifolia transcriptome from samples with different years. Using Illumina sequencing, approximately 67.2% of unique sequences were annotated by basic local alignment search tool similarity searches against public sequence databases. We classified the annotated unigenes by using Nr, Nt, GO, COG, and KEGG databases compared with NCBI. We also obtained many candidates CYP450s and UGTs by the analysis of genes in the secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways, including putative terpenoid backbone and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway. With this transcriptome sequencing, future genetic and genomics studies related to the molecular mechanisms associated with the chemical composition of P. tenuifolia may be improved. Genes involved in the enrichment of secondary metabolite biosynthesis-related pathways could enhance the potential applications of P. tenuifolia in pharmaceutical industries.