A gene expression analysis of high latex-yielding and disease-resistant natural rubber cultivars

Entire full-length cDNA library for Pará rubber tree made public

International collaborative research between RIKEN CSRS and Universiti Sains Malaysia sought to identify new factors for latex biosynthesis in Hevea brasiliensis (Pará rubber tree) and elucidate the plant’s mechanisms of gene expression regulation. Researchers initially examined gene expression levels using two cultivars: one with high latex yields and another with disease resistance.

The team found that the rubber elongation factor 8 gene (which they had predicted from their own 2016 draft genome of the Pará plant) was highly expressed in both cultivars in addition to rubber elongation factors 1–7, which are known to be important in latex biosynthesis.

In terms of translation factors involved in the control of latex biosynthesis genes, the team identified 39 candidate factors out of the 3,000 translation factors in the draft genome.  

The team also carried out a large-scale analysis of Hevea brasiliensis full-length cDNA and made all data for some 20,000 clones available on the Rubber Transcriptome Database. Matching this data with EST sequences allowed researchers to confirm expression for 23,790 genes, update the annotations for 17,201 genes and identify 9,500 transcription start points.

These findings are expected to help clarify the mechanisms of latex production and lead to the development of excellent latex cultivars.


Original article
DNA Research doi:10.1093/dnares/dsw056
Y. Makita, K. K. Ng, G. V. Singham, M. Kawashima, H. Hirakawa, S. Sato, A. S. Othman, M. Matsui,
"Large-scale collection of full-length cDNA and transcriptome analysis in Hevea brasiliensis".

Minami Matsui; Group Director
Yuko Makita; Research Scientist
Synthetic Genomics Research Group