Integrated analysis of mRNA-seq and miRNA-seq reveals the advantage of polyploid Solidago canadensis in sexual reproduction.
Background: The invasion of Solidago canadensis probably related to polyploidy, which may promotes its potential of sexual reproductive. S. canadensis as an invasive species which rapidly widespread through yield huge numbers of seed, but the mechanism remains unknown. To better understand the advantages of sexual reproduction in hexaploid S. canadensis, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing of diploid and hexaploid cytotypes in flower bud and fruit development stages were performed in this study. Results: The transcriptome analysis showed that in the flower bud stage, 29 DEGs were MADS-box related genes with 14 up-regulated and 15 down-regulated in hexaploid S. canadensis; 12 SPL genes were detected differentially expressed with 5 up-regulated and 7 down-regulated. In the fruit development stage, 26 MADS-box related genes with 20 up-regulated and 6 down-regulated in hexaploid S. canadensis; 5 SPL genes were all up-regulated; 28 seed storage protein related genes with 18 were up-regulated and 10 down-regulated. The weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) identified 19 modules which consisted of co-expressed DEGs with functions such as sexual reproduction, secondary metabolism and transcription factors. Furthermore, we discovered 326 miRNAs with 67 known miRNAs and 259 novel miRNAs. Some of miRNAs, such as miR156, miR156a and miR156f, which target the sexual reproduction related genes. Conclusion: Our study provides a global view of the advantages of sexual reproduction in hexaploid S. canadensis based on the molecular mechanisms, which may promote hexaploid S. canadensis owing higher yield and fruit quality in the process of sexual reproduction and higher germination rate of seeds, and finally conductive to diffusion, faster propagation process and enhanced invasiveness.