Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFO) play an important role in plants but are also considered to be antinutritional factors. A profound understanding of the galactinol and RFO biosynthetic gene families and the expression patterns of the individual genes is a prerequisite for the sustainable reduction of the RFO content in the seeds, without compromising normal plant development and functioning. In this paper, an overview of the annotation and genetic structure of all galactinol- and RFO biosynthesis genes is given for soybean and common bean. In common bean, three galactinol synthase genes, two raffinose synthase genes and one stachyose synthase gene were identified for the first time. To discover the expression patterns of these genes in different tissues, two expression atlases have been created through re-analysis of publicly available RNA-seq data. De novo expression analysis through an RNA-seq study during seed development of three varieties of common bean gave more insight into the expression patterns of these genes during the seed development. The results of the expression analysis suggest that different classes of galactinol- and RFO synthase genes have tissue-specific expression patterns in soybean and common bean. With the obtained knowledge, important galactinol- and RFO synthase genes that specifically play a key role in the accumulation of RFOs in the seeds are identified. These candidate genes may play a pivotal role in reducing the RFO content in the seeds of important legumes which could improve the nutritional quality of these beans and would solve the discomforts associated with their consumption.
- common bean
- RNA sequencing
- Raffinose family oligosaccharides