Enriching Genomic Resources and Marker Development from Transcript Sequences of Jatropha curcas for Microgravity Studies
Improving salinity and drought tolerance of crop plants has been an important aim of modern agricultural development, which depends on understanding the functions of genes expressed during the process of stress adaptation. EST resources are an efficient and cost-effective solution to gene discovery. Jatropha curcas is emerging as the most promising tree oil seed as a source of biodiesel. To identify genes that respond to abiotic stress, in the present study, we report 1240 ESTs generated from root cDNA libraries of J. curcas. ESTs were clustered and assembled into a collection of 865 unigenes, with 107 contigs and 758 singleton sequences. The putative functions of several ESTs could be assigned by similarity to plant gene sequence comparisons. It was found that 23 full-length CDS (34%) and the majority of transcription factors had sequence similarity to genes known to be involved in abiotic and biotic stress tolerance. The expression pattern of nine selected genes revealed that these genes are differentially expressed in various tissues during adaptation to stress. The data could serve as a critical resource to enable plant improvement programmes towards enhancing the adaptability of J. curcas to growth on marginal lands.