Insights into the metabolites involved in the underground floral differentiation of erythronium japonicum

Erythronium japonicum Decne (Liliaceae) is an early spring ephemeral with an underground initial floral differentiation stage. The flowering mechanism is crucial in ornamental plants due to the associated economic value. Therefore, this study is aimed at exploring the metabolic landscape during floral differentiation, including flower primordium, perianth, stamen, and the pistil differentiation period, in E. japonicum coupled with a conjoint analysis of the metabolome and transcriptome.

Using ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we identified 586 metabolites from 13 major metabolite classes. Comparative metabolomics between different floral developmental stages revealed several abundant metabolites during the respective phases. Upaccumulation of p-coumaroylputrescine, scopoletin, isorhoifolin, cosmosiin, genistin, and LysoPC 15 : 0 emphasized the significance of these compounds during flower development.

Furthermore, previously identified DEGs, viz., EARLY FLOWERING 3, Flowering locus K, PHD finger-containing protein, and zinc finger SWIM domain-containing protein for floral differentiation, depicted a high correlation with lipid, flavonoid, and phenolics accumulation during floral developmental stages. Conclusions. Together, the results improve our interpretation of the underground floral development in E. japonicum.

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Wang, Hongtao & Zhu, Junyi & Zhang, Lifan & Shen, Peng & Xiao, Zi & Zhao, Rengui. (2022). Insights into the Major Metabolites Involved in the Underground Floral Differentiation of Erythronium japonicum. BioMed Research International. 2022. 10.1155/2022/7431151. 

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