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Biotechnology - Molecular Biology

Selection of Reliable Reference Genes for Gene Expression Studies Using Real-Time PCR in Tung Tree during Seed Development
Published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Author: Xiaojiao Han et al.

by Xiaojiao Han, Mengzhu Lu, Yicun Chen, Zhiyong Zhan, Qinqin Cui, Yangdong Wang

Quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) has become an accurate and widely used technique to analyze expression levels of selected genes. It is very necessary to select appropriate reference genes for gene expression normalization. In the present study, we assessed the expression stability of 11 reference genes including eight traditional housekeeping genes and three novel genes in different tissues/organs and developing seeds from four cultivars of tung tree. All 11 reference genes showed a wide range of Ct values in all samples, indicating that they differently expressed. Three softwares – geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper – were used to determine the stability of these references except for ALB (2S albumin), which presented a little divergence. The results from the three softwares showed that ACT7 (Actin7a), UBQ (Ubiquitin), GAPDH (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and EF1a (elongation factor 1-a) were the most stable reference genes across all of the tested tung samples and tung developing seeds, while ALB (2S albumin) was unsuitable as internal controls. ACT7, EF1ß (elongation factor1-beta), GAPDH and TEF1 (transcription elongation factor 1) were the top four choices for different tissues/organs whereas LCR69 did not favor normalization of RT-qPCR in these tissues/organs. Meanwhile, the expression profiles of FAD2 and FADX were realized using stable reference genes. The relative quantification of the FAD2 and FADX genes varied according to the internal controls and the number of internal controls. The results further proved the importance of the choice of reference genes in the tung tree. These stable reference genes will be employed in normalization and quantification of transcript levels in future expression studies of tung genes.