Transcriptome analysis of young ovaries reveals candidate genes involved in gamete formation in Lantana camara.
Lantana (Lantana camara L., Verbenaceae) is an important ornamental crop, yet can be a highly invasive species. The formation of unreduced female gametes (UFGs) is a major factor contributing to its invasiveness and has severely hindered the development of sterile cultivars. To enrich the genomic resources and gain insight into the genetic mechanisms of UFG formation in lantana, we investigated the transcriptomes of young ovaries of two lantana genotypes, GDGHOP-36 (GGO), producing 100% UFGs, and a cultivar Landmark White Lantana (LWL), not producing UFGs. The de novo transcriptome assembly resulted in a total of 90,641 unique transcript sequences with an N50 of 1692 bp, among which, 29,383 sequences contained full-length coding sequences (CDS). There were 214 transcripts associated with the biological processes of gamete production and 10 gene families orthologous to genes known to control unreduced gamete production in Arabidopsis. We identified 925 transcription factor (TF)-encoding sequences, 91 nucleotide-binding site (NBS)-containing genes, and gene families related to drought/salt tolerance and allelopathy. These genomic resources and candidate genes involved in gamete formation will be valuable for developing new tools to control the invasiveness in L. camara, protect native lantana species, and understand the formation of unreduced gametes in plants.