Profiling the developing Jatropha curcas L: Seed transcriptome by pyrosequencing

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Jatropha curcas L. has received much attention recently as a potential oilseed crop for the production of renewable oil. Despite the interest in this crop, relatively little is known on the molecular biology of this species compared with more established oilseed crops. To gain a more detailed understanding of the processes involved in deposition of oil and protein within Jatropha seeds, we conducted high-throughput sequencing analysis of the transcriptome of developing J. curcas seeds using 454 sequencing. A single sequencing run yielded 195,692 sequences (46 Mbp) of raw sequence data. Assembly of this sequence data produced 12,419 contigs and 17,333 singletons. BLASTX searches of the contigs revealed that storage proteins were the most abundant transcripts. Oleosins, ribosomal proteins, metallothioneins and late embryogenesis abundant proteins were also highly represented. Curcin, a type-I ribosome-inactivating protein, accounted for 0.7% of the transcriptome. No transcripts for type-II ribosome-inactivating proteins were found, suggesting that these are not present in the seeds of J. curcas. To test the power of 454 sequencing compared to conventional gene sequencing as a tool for gene discovery, a search of the homologues for genes involved in the conversion of sucrose to triacylglycerol was conducted. Hits for all the known genes in this process were obtained. Pyrosequencing of the J. curcas developing seed transcriptome has provided a valuable increase in the amount of sequence data currently available for this species. The sequence data will be of great use to those engaged in J. curcas research and crop improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-221
Number of pages11
JournalBioEnergy Research
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Biodiesel
  • Expressed sequence tags
  • Jatropha curcas
  • Developing seeds

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