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Article|13 Jun 2023|OPEN
Hormones and carbohydrates synergistically regulate the formation of swollen roots in a Chinese cabbage translocation line 
Xiaojing Ren1 ,† , Wei Ma1 ,† , Shuxin Xuan1 ,† , Dandan Li1 , Yanhua Wang1 , Yuanchao Xu1 , Daling Feng1 , Jianjun Zhao1 , Xueping Chen1 , Shuangxia Luo1 , Shuxing Shen1 , and Aixia Gu,1 ,
1State Key Laboratory of North China Crop Improvement and Regulation, Key Laboratory of Vegetable Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Hebei, Collaborative Innovation Center of Vegetable Industry in Hebei, College of Horticulture, Hebei Agricultural University, 071000 Baoding, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,
Xiaojing Ren,Wei Ma and Shuxin Xuan contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad121 (2023)
Views: 136

Received: 08 Feb 2023
Accepted: 23 May 2023
Published online: 13 Jun 2023


The genus Brassica contains a rich diversity of species and morphological types, including leaf, root, and oil crops, all of which show substantial phenotypic variation. Both Chinese cabbage and cabbage are typical leaf-type crops with normal roots. We created translocation lines based on interspecific crosses between Chinese cabbage and cabbage and identified qdh225, which exhibited a swollen-root phenotype. The swollen root of qdh225 contained a large number of granular substances, and the formation of its irregular morphological tissue was caused by a thickening of the phloem. Transcriptomic and metabolomic data suggested that differential expression of genes encoding nine types of enzymes involved in starch and sucrose metabolism caused changes in starch synthesis and degradation in the swollen root. These genes jointly regulated sucrose and starch levels, leading to significant enrichment of starch and soluble proteins in the swollen root and a reduction in the content of soluble sugars such as D-glucose and trehalose 6-phosphate. A significant increase in auxin (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA) contents and a decrease in gibberellin (GA) content in the swollen root likely promoted the differential expression of genes associated with hormone signal transduction, thereby regulating the development of the swollen root. Taken together, our data suggest that accumulation of IAA and ABA and reduction in GA promote swollen root formation by regulating hormone-mediated signaling, leading to a thickening of phloem, root enlargement, and substantial accumulation of starch and soluble proteins. The latter provide materials, energy, and nutrient sources for the development of swollen roots.