3 Biotech

, 9:81 | Cite as

Comparative transcriptomics reveals potential genes involved in the vegetative growth of Morchella importuna

  • Wei Liu
  • Yingli Cai
  • Peixin HeEmail author
  • Lianfu Chen
  • Yinbing BianEmail author
Original Article


True morels (Morchella spp.) are edible, medicinal mushrooms which have recently been artificially cultivated in China but stable production remains a problem. Here, we describe complete and comprehensive transcriptome of Morchella importuna at the stages of vegetative mycelium (VM), initial sclerotium (IS) and mature sclerotium (MS) by deep transcriptional sequencing and de novo assembly for the first time and which will potentially provide useful information for improving its cultivation. A total of 26,496 genes were identified with a contig N50 length of 1763 bp and an average length of over 1064 bp. Additionally, 11,957 open reading frames (ORFs) were predicted and 9676 of them (80.9%) were annotated. The 2605 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) identified by gene expression clustering were mainly involved with energy metabolism and could be divided into three broad clusters, of which genes in cluster_1 and cluster_2 were involved in the metabolic process of carbohydrate, polysaccharide, hydrolase, caprolactam, beta-galactosidase, and disaccharide, respectively. Genes in cluster_3 were the largest category, mainly identified with the catalytic activity and transporter activity. Overall, the enzymes involved in the carbohydrate metabolism were highly expressed, and the CAZyme (carbohydrate-active enzyme) genes were significantly expressed within cluster_3. For expression verification, 16 CAZYme genes were selected for qRT-PCR, and the results suggested that the catabolism of carbohydrates occurs mainly in the vegetative mycelium stage, and the anabolism of the energy-rich substances is the main event of mycelial growth and sclerotial morphogenesis of M. importuna.


Morel Carbohydrate metabolism Differential expression analysis CAZYmes, qRT-PCR 



This study was supported by the Key Technologies R & D Program of Henan Province (No. 172102310553), the Major Technology Innovation Projects of Hubei Province (Grant No. 2016ABA100) and the Industry (Agriculture) Science and Technology Program (Grant No. 201503107).

Author contributions

WL and PH conceived and designed the experiments. YC and WL prepared the experiment materials. WL and YC carried out the experiments and collected the data. Data analysis was carried out by LC and WL. WL and PH wrote the manuscript. PH and YB provided intellectual input and revised the manuscript. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13205_2019_1614_MOESM1_ESM.docx (627 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 626 KB)


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Applied MycologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Agro-Microbial Resource Comprehensive Utilization, Ministry of AgricultureHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Institute of VegetableWuhan Academy of Agricultural SciencesWuhanChina
  4. 4.School of Food and Biological EngineeringZhengzhou University of Light IndustryZhengzhouChina

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