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Title: Transcript abundance on its own cannot be used to infer fluxes in central metabolism

An attempt has been made to define the extent to which metabolic flux in central plant metabolism is reflected by changes in the transcriptome and metabolome, based on an analysis of in vitro cultured immature embryos of two oilseed rape (Brassica napus) accessions which contrast for seed lipid accumulation. Metabolic flux analysis (MFA) was used to constrain a flux balance metabolic model which included 671 biochemical and transport reactions within the central metabolism. This highly confident flux information was eventually used for comparative analysis of flux vs. transcript (metabolite). Metabolite profiling succeeded in identifying 79 intermediates within the central metabolism, some of which differed quantitatively between the two accessions and displayed a significant shift corresponding to flux. An RNA-Seq based transcriptome analysis revealed a large number of genes which were differentially transcribed in the two accessions, including some enzymes/proteins active in major metabolic pathways. With a few exceptions, differential activity in the major pathways (glycolysis, TCA cycle, amino acid, and fatty acid synthesis) was not reflected in contrasting abundances of the relevant transcripts. The conclusion was that transcript abundance on its own cannot be used to infer metabolic activity/fluxes in central plant metabolism. Lastly, this limitation needs to be bornemore » in mind in evaluating transcriptome data and designing metabolic engineering experiments.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  2. Leibniz Inst. for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben (Germany)
  3. Leibniz Inst. for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben (Germany); Univ. of Wurzburg (Germany)
  4. Bayer CropScience NV, Zwijnaarde (Belgium)
  5. Univ. of Wurzburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Plant Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1664-462X
Frontiers Research Foundation
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES Brassica napus; 13C-metabolic flux analysis; flux balance analysis; central metabolism; targeted metabolite profiling; lipid biosynthesis; oilseeds