Russian Journal of Plant Physiology

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 477–487 | Cite as

Genome-Wide Gene Expression Profiles of Orange and White Leafy Head Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) during the Summer Production Season

  • Y. Zhang
  • X. Li
  • Q. Ding
  • J. J. Li
  • F. D. WangEmail author
  • J. W. GaoEmail author


The orange color of the inner leaves of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) is attributed to the high content of carotenoids, which is controlled by a single recessive gene, BrCRTISO (Br-or). Due to the important roles of carotenoids in human, the orange color of inner leaves is a desirable agronomic trait for Chinese cabbage breeding. However, Chinese cabbages with orange inner leaves are more susceptive to plant disease and insect pests. To understand the molecular mechanisms of abnormal carotenoid metabolism of B. rapa during the summer production season, we employed RNA-seq to analyze the differentially expressed genes between the F2 populations of an orange Chinese cabbage cultivar (14-490) and a white Chinese cabbage cultivar (14-401). A total of 30 768 genes were detected, among which, 175 genes, including 44 up-regulated genes and 131 down-regulated genes, were differentially expressed between the orange and white F2 populations. Genes involved in cold response, wounding response, salt stress, defense response and drought stress were highlighted. In addition, other genes encoding transcription factors were also identified, including heat shock protein 70, WRKY70 and MYB34. Our study provides new insight into the regulatory network of gene expression in orange head Chinese cabbage during the summer production season. These response genes may be used for further strategy development of Chinese cabbage cultivars with high carotenoid content in summer planting.


Brassica rapa Chinese cabbage orange head heat stress RNA-seq 



This study was supported by the following grants: Agricultural Scientific and Technological Innovation Project of Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (project nos. CXGC2018E08; CXGC2016B06; CAAS-XTCX2018021); National Key Research and Development Program of China (project no. 2017YFD0101801); National Natural Science Foundation of China (project no. 31471884); Modern Agricultural Industrial Technology System Funding of Shandong Province, China (project no. SDAIT-05-04); Young Talents Training Program of Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science, China (project no. NKYSCS-03) and Natural Science Foundation of Shandong province (project no. ZR2018BC029).


The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies involving animals or human participants performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

11183_2019_8051_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (377 kb)


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Shandong Key Laboratory of Greenhouse Vegetable Biology and Shandong Branch of National Vegetable Improvement CenterJinanPR China
  2. 2.Life Science College, Shandong Normal UniversityJinanPR China

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