[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Through RNA-seq of a mixed fruit sample, fourteen expressed sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) genes have been identified from sand pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai). Comparative phylogenetic analysis of these PpySDHs with those from other plants supported the closest relationship of sand pear with Chinese white pear (P. bretschneideri). The expression levels varied greatly among members, and the strongest six (PpySDH2, PpySDH4, PpySDH8, PpySDH12, PpySDH13 and PpySDH14) accounted for 96% of total transcript abundance of PpySDHs. Tissue-specific expression of these six members was observed in nine tissues or organs of sand pear, with the greatest abundance found in functional leaf petioles, followed by the flesh of young fruit. Expression patterns of these six PpySDH genes during fruit development were analyzed in two sand pear cultivars, "Cuiguan" and "Cuiyu". Overall, expression of PpySDHs peaked twice, first at the fruitlet stage and again at or near harvest. The transcript abundance of PpySDHs was higher in "Cuiguan" than in "Cuiyu", accompanied by a higher content of sugars and higher ratio of fructose to sorbitol maintained in the former cultivar at harvest. In conclusion, it was suggested that multiple members of the SDH gene family are possibly involved in sand pear fruit development and sugar accumulation and may affect both the sugar amount and sugar composition.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 06/2015; 16(6):13065-13083. DOI:10.3390/ijms160613065 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to fully understand the variations of fruit quality-related phytochemical composition in Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.), mature fruit of 17 cultivars from Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces was used for the investigation of fruit quality attributes, including fruit color, soluble sugars, organic acids, total phenolics, flavonoids, antioxidant capacity, etc. Sucrose was the main soluble sugar, while citric acid was the main organic acid in bayberry fruit. The content of total phenolics and total flavonoids were positively correlated with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) antioxidant activity and 2,2ʹ-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging activity. Five anthocyanidins, i.e., delphinidin–hexoside (Dp–Hex), cyanidin-3–O-galactoside (C-3–Gal), cyanidin-3–O-glucoside (C-3–Glu), pelargonidin-3–O-glucoside (Pg-3–Glu) and peonidin-3-O-glucoside (Pn-3–Glu), and seven flavonols compounds, i.e., myricetin-3-O-rhamnoside (M-3–Rha), myricetin deoxyhexoside–gallate (M-DH–G), quercetin-3-O-galactoside (Q-3–Gal), quercetin-3–O-glucoside (Q-3–Glu), quercetin-3–O-rhamnoside (Q-3–Rha), kaempferol-3–O-galactoside (K-3–Gal) and kaempferol-3–O-glucoside (K-3–Glu), were identified and characterized among the cultivars. The significant differences in phytochemical compositions among cultivars reflect the diversity in bayberry germplasm, and cultivars of good flavor and/or rich in various health-promoting phytochemicals are good candidates for future genetic breeding of bayberry fruit of high quality. In conclusion, our results may provide important information for further breeding or industrial utilization of different bayberry resources.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 06/2015; 16(6):12467-12481. DOI:10.3390/ijms160612467 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Citrate is the predominant organic acid associated with taste in citrus fruit. Although citrate metabolism has been widely studied in recent years, the potential contributions of transport proteins to citrate content remain unclear. In the present study, high-acid citrus fruit Gaocheng ('GC', Citrus sp.) and low-acid citrus fruit Satsuma mandarin ('SM', Citrus unshiu Marc.) were selected for study, and the degradation of citrate was deduced to be the main cause of the difference in acidity in fully mature fruits. RNA-seq analysis was carried out on 'GC' and 'SM' fruit samples over the same time course, and the results indicated that citrate degradation occurred mainly through the glutamine pathway, catalyzed by CitAco3-CitGS2-CitGDU1, and also two transport-related genes, CitCHX and CitDIC, were shown to be associated with citrate degradation. These results were confirmed by real-time PCR. In postharvest 'GC' fruit, the expressions of these two transport-related genes were induced by 2-fold under hot air treatment, accompanied by a reduction of 7%-9% in total acid degradation. Transient expression of CitCHX and CitDIC in tobacco leaves was performed, and the citrate content was reduced by 62%, 75% and 78% following CitCHX, CitDIC and CitCHX plus CitDIC treatments, respectively, as compared with expression of an empty vector. Overall, these data indicated that two transport proteins, CitCHX and CitDIC, are not only involved in citrate degradation during fruit development, but also involved in postharvest hot air triggered citrate reduction.
PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0119410. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119410 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To overcome the poor peach fruit color problem resulting from fruit bagging with a widely applied yellow paper (YE-P), non-woven polypropylene bags of different colors were tested. Fruit bagged with white non-woven polypropylene (WH-N) developed the deepest red color and accumulated the highest amount of anthocyanin in peel. The effect was consistent for both cultivars tested, ‘Hujingmilu’ and ‘Yulu’. Enhanced expression of three anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, chalcone synthase (CHS), dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), and UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase (UFGT), as well as five regulatory genes, three MYBs (MYB 10.1, MYB 10.2, MYB 10.3), bHLH3, and WD40-1, was observed in peel of WH-N bagged fruit, compared to those bagged with YE-P. These data indicated that the WH-N bag is an ideal replacement for YE-P bags for improving peach fruit color development, and the increased accumulation of anthocyanin is a result of enhanced expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes as well as regulatory genes.
Scientia Horticulturae 03/2015; 184:142-148. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2015.01.003 · 1.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spring orchid (Cymbidium goeringii), a valuable and endangered species in China, plays an important role as a potted flower. The genetic diversity of 129 spring orchid cultivars was evaluated with 13 selected EST-SSR markers and 120 alleles were identified, of which 111 alleles were polymorphic. The plum petal type, with 43 cultivars, contributed 102 polymorphic alleles out of the 111, while the colored flower type, with 3 cultivars, had 38 polymorphic alleles. Cluster analysis showed that these 129 spring orchid cultivars could be sorted into two groups, or three subgroups (A1, A2, B), based on the allelic data, and with all cultivars from three currently recognized variants intermingled with some cultivars from C. goeringii in the same subgroup, indicating that they should not be regarded as variants. Through principal coordinate analysis, only a weak correlation between DNA fingerprints and the horticultural types of the spring orchid was observed. However, common alleles existed in cultivars from the same horticultural type, for example, 15 common alleles were found in the 3 cultivars of the colored flower type, and the CY2-J allele existed in the 43 cultivars of the plum petal type. All these cultivars, except for Longzi and Lao Longzi, could be distinguished from each other using these EST-SSR markers. Moreover, a set of 102 out of the 129 cultivars had their own specific alleles, and therefore, with a single EST-SSR marker, each of these cultivars can be distinguished from all other cultivars. These findings can be valuable for taxonomy improvement as well as resource conservation and utilization, and the EST-SSR markers developed can also be a useful tool for cultivar identification which is frequently required commercially.
Scientia Horticulturae 07/2014; 174(1):178–184. DOI:10.1016/j.scienta.2014.05.015 · 1.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Differences in carotenoid accumulation between tissues and cultivars is common in plants. White-fleshed loquat cultivars had low levels of carotenoids in the flesh, but accumulated carotenoids in peel when ripe, and the leaves accumulated similar carotenoids to those in the red-fleshed loquat cultivars. The catalytic activity and expression patterns of four phytoene synthase (PSY) genes, EjPSY1, EjPSY2A, EjPSY2B, and EjPSY3, were analysed to understand their roles in different loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) types. EjPSY1 was responsible for carotenoid synthesis in the fruit peel but not the flesh, whereas EjPSY2A was responsible for carotenoid accumulation in flesh of ripening fruit. A mutant EjPSY2A
d, with the same tissue specificity and expression level as EjPSY2A, but lacking the C-terminal region and corresponding catalytic activity, was discovered in white-fleshed varieties, explaining the lack of carotenoids in the white flesh. The catalytic role of EjPSY2B was most significant in leaves. The tissue-specific expression of EjPSY1 and EjPSY2B explained well how peel and leaf tissues can still accumulate carotenoids in white-fleshed cultivars, which have lost the functional EjPSY2A. EjPSY3 mRNA abundance was ~1000-fold less than that of other PSY mRNAs in all tissues examined. In addition, neither the normal sized transcript nor two alternatively spliced forms, EjPSY3α in LYQ and EjPSY3β in BS cultivars, encoded functional enzymes, and it is concluded that EjPSY3 plays no role in carotenoid accumulation. In addition, it was noted that recruitment of PSY genes for expression in specific tissues of different plants has occurred independently of gene structure and evolutionary origin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dehydrins (DHNs) are a family of plant proteins typically induced in response to stress conditions that cause cellular dehydration, such as low temperatures, high salinity, and drought. Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is a perennial fruit crop that blossoms during winter. Loquat fruitlets are frequently injured by freezing. To evaluate the role of the EjDHNs in freezing resistance in loquat fruitlets, two cultivars of loquat, the freezing-sensitive 'Ninghaibai' (FS-NHB) and the freezing-tolerant 'Jiajiao' (FT-JJ), were analyzed under induced freezing stress. Freezing stress led to obvious accumulation of reactive oxygen species and considerable lipid peroxidation in membranes during the treatment period. Both these phenomena were more pronounced in 'FS-NHB' than in 'FS-JJ.' Immunogold labeling of dehydrin protein was performed. DHN proteins were found to be concentrated mainly in the vicinity of the plasma membrane, and the density of the immunogold labeling was significantly higher after freezing treatment, especially in the more freezing-tolerant cultivar 'FT-JJ.' Seven DHNs, showing four different structure types, were obtained from loquat fruitlets and used to study the characteristics of different EjDHN proteins. These DHN proteins are all highly hydrophilic, but they differ significantly in size, ranging from 188 to 475 amino acids, and in biochemical properties, such as theoretical pI, aliphatic index, and instability index. Freezing treatment resulted in up-regulation of the expression levels of all seven EjDHNs, regardless of structure type. The accumulation of the transcripts of these EjDHN genes was much more pronounced in 'FT-JJ' than in 'FS-NHB.' Altogether, this study provides evidence that EjDHNs are involved in the cryoprotection of the plasma membrane during freeze-induced dehydration in loquat fruitlets.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87575. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087575 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anthocyanins are important for fruits as they contribute not only to fruit color but also to human health. Anthocyanin biosynthesis is transcriptionally regulated by the MYB–bHLH–WD40 transcription complex. For Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra), the MYB and bHLH regulating anthocyanin accumulation, named as MrMYB1 and MrbHLH1, respectively, have been isolated previously. In this study, by searching and assembling the sequences available in the RNA-Seq database of Chinese bayberry, 60 WD40 members were obtained. Through phylogenetic analysis of these members with those related to anthocyanin biosynthesis regulation in other plants, unigenes 803 and 11128, designated as MrWD40-1 and MrWD40-2, respectively, have been isolated as the putative WD40 members regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. However, positive correlation was observed between the anthocyanin accumulation and the expression patterns of MrWD40-1 but not MrWD40-2, both during fruit development, and in different tissues or cultivars of Chinese bayberry. Tobacco transient assays indicated that the ternary expression of MrMYB1–MrbHLH1–MrWD40-1 induced anthocyanin accumulation earlier and stronger than with binary expression of MrMYB1–MrbHLH1 in the absence of MrWD40-1. Compared with the enhancement effect on anthocyanin biosynthesis of MrWD40-1, MrWD40-2 could not improve the anthocyanin accumulation even with MrMYB1 and MrbHLH1, although the highly conserved four WD repeat motifs were also present in MrWD40-2. Moreover, it was observed that MrWD40-1 physically interacted with both MrMYB1 and MrbHLH1 according to yeast two-hybrid analysis. These results indicated that MrWD40-1, but not MrWD40-2, is the member regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis in Chinese bayberry through the formation of a ternary complex with MrMYB1 and MrbHLH1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Volatiles from flowers at three blooming stages of nine citrus cultivars were analyzed by headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME)-GC-MS. Up to 110 volatiles were detected, with 42 tentatively identified from citrus flowers for the first time. Highest amounts of volatiles were present in fully opened flowers of most citrus, except for pomelos. All cultivars were characterized by a high percentage of either oxygenated monoterpenes or monoterpene hydrocarbons, and the presence of a high percentage of nitrogen containing compounds was also observed. Flower volatiles varied qualitatively and quantitatively among citrus types during blooming. Limonene was the most abundant flower volatile only in citrons; α-citral and β-citral ranked 2nd and 3rd only for Bergamot, and unopened flowers of Ponkan had a higher amount of linalool and β-pinene while much lower amount of γ-terpinene and p-cymene than Satsuma. Taking the average of all cultivars, linalool and limonene were the top two volatiles for all blooming stages; β-pinene ranked 3rd in unopened flowers, while indole ranked 3rd for half opened and fully opened flower volatiles. As flowers bloomed, methyl anthranilate increased while 2-hexenal and p-cymene decreased. In some cases, a volatile could be high in both unopened and fully opened flowers but low in half opened ones. Through multivariate analysis, the nine citrus cultivars were clustered into three groups, consistent with the three true citrus types. Furthermore, an influence of blooming stages on clustering was observed, especially with hybrids Satsuma and Huyou. Altogether, it was suggested that flower volatiles can be suitable markers for revealing the genetic relationships between citrus cultivars but the same blooming stage needs to be strictly controlled.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 11/2013; 14(11):22346-22367. DOI:10.3390/ijms141122346 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Major volatiles from young and mature leaves of different citrus types were analyzed by headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME)-GC-MS. A total of 123 components were identified form nine citrus cultivars, including nine aldehydes, 19 monoterpene hydrocarbons, 27 oxygenated monoterpenes, 43 sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, eight oxygenated sesquiterpenes, two ketones, six esters and nine miscellaneous. Young leaves produced higher amounts of volatiles than mature leaves in most cultivars. The percentage of aldehyde and monoterpene hydrocarbons increased, whilst oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes compounds decreased during leaf development. Linalool was the most abundant compound in young leaves, whereas limonene was the chief component in mature ones. Notably, linalool content decreased, while limonene increased, during leaf development in most cultivars. Leaf volatiles were also affected by genetic types. A most abundant volatile in one or several genotypes can be absent in another one(s), such as limonene in young leaves of lemon vs. Satsuma mandarin and β-terpinene in mature leaves of three genotypes vs. the other four. Compositional data was subjected to multivariate statistical analysis, and variations in leaf volatiles were identified and clustered into six groups. This research determining the relationship between production of major volatiles from different citrus varieties and leaf stages could be of use for industrial and culinary purposes.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 09/2013; 14(9):17744-17766. DOI:10.3390/ijms140917744 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate synthases (DXS) and three phytoene synthases (PSY) were identified in citrus, from Affymetrix GeneChip Citrus Genome Array, GenBank and public orange genome databases. Tissue-specific expression analysis of these genes was carried out on fruit peel and flesh, flower and leaf of Satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) in order to determine their roles in carotenoid accumulation in different tissues. Expression of CitDXS1 and CitPSY1 was highest in all test tissues, while that of CitDXS2 and CitPSY2 was lower, and that of CitDXS3 and CitPSY3 undetectable. The transcript profiles of CitDXS1 and CitPSY1 paralleled carotenoid accumulation in flesh of Satsuma mandarin and orange (Citrus sinensis Osbeck) during fruit development, and CitPSY1 expression was also associated with carotenoid accumulation in peel, while the CitDXS1 transcript level was only weakly correlated with carotenoid accumulation in peel. Similar results were obtained following correlation analysis between expression of CitDXS1 and CitPSY1 and carotenoid accumulation in peel and flesh of 16 citrus cultivars. These findings identify CitPSY1 and CitDXS1 as the main gene members controlling carotenoid biosynthesis in citrus fruit. Furthermore, chromoplasts were extracted from flesh tissue of these citrus, and chromoplasts of different shape (spindle or globular), different size, and color depth were observed in different cultivars, indicating chromoplast abundance, number per gram tissue, size and color depth were closely correlated with carotenoid content in most cultivars. The relationship between carotenoid biosynthesis and chromoplast development was discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) is a subtropical fruit tree native to China and other Asian countries, and culture of this Myricaceae plant has been recorded in Chinese history for more than 2000 years. Bayberry fruit is delicious with attractive color, flavor, and high economic value. Compared with other berries, bayberry fruit is a rich source of cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G, e.g., 64.8 mg/100 g fresh weight in 'Biqi' cultivar), which accounts for at least 85 % of the anthocyanins in the fruit. Bayberry is also a plant with high medicinal value since different organs have been used historically as folk medicines. Research efforts suggest bayberry extracts contain antioxidants that exhibit bioactivities counteracting inflammation, allergens, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, diarrhea and other health issues. Bayberry compounds have been isolated and characterized to provide a better understanding of the chemical mechanisms underlying the biological activities of bayberry extracts and to elaborate the structure-activity relationships. As the identification of compounds progresses, studies investigating the in vivo metabolism and bioavailability as well as potential toxicity of bayberry extracts in animal models are receiving more attention. In addition, breeding and genetic studies of bayberry with high accumulation of health-benefiting compounds may provide new insight for the bayberry research and industry. This review is focused on the main medicinal properties reported and the possible pharmaceutically active compounds identified in different bayberry extracts.
Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 04/2013; 68(2). DOI:10.1007/s11130-013-0349-x · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 2000 EST sequences were produced from cDNA libraries generated from Chinese bayberry fruit (Myrica rubra Sieb. and Zucc. cv. "Biqi") at four different ripening stages. After cluster and assembly analysis of the datasets by UniProt, 395 unigenes were identified, and their presumed functions were assigned to 14 putative cellular roles. Furthermore, a sequence BLAST was done for the top ten highly expressed genes in the ESTs, and genes associated with disease/defense and anthocyanin accumulation were analyzed. Gene-encoding elements associated with ethylene biosynthesis and signal transductions, in addition to other senescence-regulating proteins, as well as those associated with quality formation during fruit ripening, were also identified. Their possible roles were subsequently discussed.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 02/2013; 14(2):3110-23. DOI:10.3390/ijms14023110 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) has been previously applied to estimate transgene copy number in transgenic plants. However, the results can be erroneous owing to inaccurate estimation of PCR efficiency. Here, a novel qPCR approach, named standard addition qPCR (SAQPCR), was devised to accurately determine transgene copy number without the necessity of obtaining PCR efficiency data. The procedures and the mathematical basis for the approach are described. A recombinant plasmid harboring both the internal reference gene and the integrated target gene was constructed to serve as the standard DNA. It was found that addition of suitable amounts of standard DNA to test samples did not affect PCR efficiency, and the guidance for selection of suitable cycle numbers for analysis was established. Samples from six individual T(0) tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants were analyzed by SAQPCR, and the results confirmed by Southern blot analysis. The approach produced accurate results and required only small amounts of plant tissue. It can be generally applied to analysis of different plants and transgenes. In addition, it can also be applied to zygosity analysis.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53489. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053489 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine physical changes in nectarine and distinctive physiological characteristics related to red and green peel under stresses occurring during fruit maturation, information on which is currently not available.
Fruit firmness increased from 4 to 6 weeks after blooming (WAB) then decreased from 6 WAB until ripening. Anthocyanins in red and green peel during nectarine maturation were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography as cyanidin 3-glucoside together and, at a much lower level, cyanidin 3-rutinoside. Cyanidins in red and green peel decreased from 4 to 8 WAB then increased from 8 to 12 WAB. Anthocyanin contents were positively correlated with PAL, POD, A*, MDA and O2(·-) values and inversely correlated with L* and B* values. Red and green peel during maturation could be separated by hierarchical cluster analysis of the tested data.
This study has provided an overview of red and green peel characteristics during nectarine (cv. Hu018) maturation. Values of A*, anthocyanins, O2(·-), MDA, PAL, PPO and POD in red peel were higher than those in green peel, while values of L*, B* and chroma in red peel were lower than those in green peel throughout fruit maturation.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 05/2012; 92(7):1448-54. DOI:10.1002/jsfa.4724 · 1.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) can be sorted into red- and white-fleshed cultivars. The flesh of Luoyangqing (LYQ, red-fleshed) appears red-orange because of a high content of carotenoids while the flesh of Baisha (BS, white-fleshed) appears ivory white due to a lack of carotenoid accumulation. The carotenoid content in the peel and flesh of LYQ was approximately 68 μg g(-1) and 13 μg g(-1) fresh weight (FW), respectively, and for BS 19 μg g(-1) and 0.27 μg g(-1) FW. The mRNA levels of 15 carotenogenesis-related genes were analysed during fruit development and ripening. After the breaker stage (S4), the mRNA levels of phytoene synthase 1 (PSY1) and chromoplast-specific lycopene β-cyclase (CYCB) were higher in the peel, and CYCB and β-carotene hydroxylase (BCH) mRNAs were higher in the flesh of LYQ, compared with BS. Plastid morphogenesis during fruit ripening was also studied. The ultrastructure of plastids in the peel of BS changed less than in LYQ during fruit development. Two different chromoplast shapes were observed in the cells of LYQ peel and flesh at the fully ripe stage. Carotenoids were incorporated in the globules in chromoplasts of LYQ and BS peel but were in a crystalline form in the chromoplasts of LYQ flesh. However, no chromoplast structure was found in the cells of fully ripe BS fruit flesh. The mRNA level of plastid lipid-associated protein (PAP) in the peel and flesh of LYQ was over five times higher than in BS peel and flesh. In conclusion, the lower carotenoid content in BS fruit was associated with the lower mRNA levels of PSY1, CYCB, and BCH; however, the failure to develop normal chromoplasts in BS flesh is the most convincing explanation for the lack of carotenoid accumulation. The expression of PAP was well correlated with chromoplast numbers and carotenoid accumulation, suggesting its possible role in chromoplast biogenesis or interconversion of loquat fruit.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Texture changes in ripening fruits influence consumer preference, fruit storability, transportability, shelf-life, and response to pathogen attack. Genetic regulatory factors as well as environmental conditions simultaneously affect texture changes in ripening fruit. Recent physiological and molecular studies provide insights into our knowledge and understanding of events and/or factors that contribute to changes in fruit texture, including softening and lignification. The roles of enzymes involved in modification and/or regulation of cell wall components as well as ethylene signaling components that play key roles in fruit textural changes during fruit ripening and storage will be presented and discussed. In addition, physical as well as chemical regulation of textural changes in ripening fruit will be explored.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ROP/RAC GTPases regulate various development processes and play important roles in plant defense responses. Recently, lignification or secondary cell wall formation related ROP members were reported in rice, zinnia, cotton and Eucalyptus. The present study aimed to investigate the possible association of loquat ROPs with flesh lignification under different temperatures. Four ROP cDNA fragments, EjROP1.1, EjROP1.2, EjROP2 and EjROP3, were isolated from ‘Luoyangqing’ (LYQ) loquat fruit, and all of them shared over 80% nucleotide identity with known ROPs from other plants. Sequence analysis revealed that EjROP1.1, EjROP2 and EjROP3 might be functional while EjROP1.2, with mutated C-terminal resulted from a 65 bp deletion in the corresponding nucleotide sequence as compared with EjROP1.1, might be dominant-negative and consequently act as a negative regulator of ROP signal transduction. Increase in expression of EjROP1.1, EjROP2 and EjROP3 was observed during first 4 or 6 d of storage at 20 °C and was positively correlated with the increase in flesh firmness. Expression of EjROP1.2 was constantly low under 20 °C but was quickly, within 6 h, induced under 0 °C, and it increased by about 20 times within 24 h. The expression was induced under 5 °C as well but not so strong as that under 0 °C, and transfer of fruit from 5 °C to 0 °C re-stimulated the expression. The possible roles of EjROPs played during senescence and cold regulated lignification was discussed, and the simultaneous increase in the expression of three functional EjROPs and the negative regulator EjROP1.2 was suggested to be important for maintaining a ROP rheostat to protect cells from excessive lignification. To our knowledge, this is the first study on a dominant-negative ROP resulted from a deletion mutation, and a ROP responded to low temperature.