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Reference gene selection for quantitative real-time PCR normalization in tomato subjected to nitrogen, cold, and light stress

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Kjetil Aune

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kjetil.aune@nofima.no

Analytical Biochemistry ; Volume 387. p. 238–242. 2009

Løvdal, Trond; Lillo, Cathrine

We examined eight putative consistently expressed genes-actin (ACT), beta-tubulin, elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK), ribosomal protein L2 (RPL2), ubiquitin (UBI), and a catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2Acs)-for their potential as references for the normalization of gene expression in tomato leaves. Expression stability of candidate reference genes was tested during growth conditions of nitrogen (N) starvation, low temperature, and suboptimal light. The geNorm algorithm, using reciprocal cross-validation among a larger group of candidate references, was applied for this purpose. The widely used reference genes GAPDH and PGK were top ranked during light stress but poorly ranked during N and cold stress. In contrast, EF1 was top ranked during N and cold stress but poorly ranked during light stress. The novel references RPL2 and PP2Acs, as well as the traditional references ACT and UBI, appeared to be stably expressed when looking at the data set as a whole. No gene was identified that exhibited such a constant level of expression as to outperform the other candidates under all experimental conditions. Thus, the results highlight the need for normalizing gene expression in tomato using the geometric average of multiple carefully selected reference genes. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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