Bamboo occupies an important phylogenetic node in the grass family with remarkable sizes, woodiness and a striking life history. However, limited genetic research has focused on bamboo partially because of the lack of genomic resources. The advent of high-throughput sequencing technologies enables generation of genomic resources in a short time and at a minimal cost, and therefore provides a turning point for bamboo research. In the present study, we performed de novo transcriptome sequencing for the first time to produce a comprehensive dataset for the Ma bamboo (Dendrocalamus latiflorus Munro).
The Ma bamboo transcriptome was sequenced using the Illumina paired-end sequencing technology. We produced 15,138,726 reads and assembled them into 103,354 scaffolds. A total of 68,229 unigenes were identified, among which 46,087 were annotated in the NCBI non-redundant protein database and 28,165 were annotated in the Swiss-Prot database. Of these annotated unigenes, 11,921 and 10,147 unigenes were assigned to gene ontology categories and clusters of orthologous groups, respectively. We could map 45,649 unigenes onto 292 pathways using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Pathway database. The annotated unigenes were compared against Moso bamboo, rice and millet. Unigenes that did not match any of those three sequence datasets are considered to be Ma bamboo unique. We predicted 105 unigenes encoding eight key enzymes involved in lignin biosynthesis. In addition, 621 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were detected.
Our data provide the most comprehensive transcriptomic resource currently available for D. latiflorus Munro. Candidate genes potentially involved in growth and development were identified, and those predicted to be unique to Ma bamboo are expected to give a better insight on Ma bamboo gene diversity. Numerous SSRs characterized contributed to marker development. These data constitute a new valuable resource for genomic studies on D. latiflorus Munro and, more generally, bamboo.