A microarray approach to identify genes involved in seed-pericarp cross-talk and development in peach

Bonghi, Claudio; Trainotti, Livio; Botton, Alessandro; Tadiello, Alice; Rasori, Angela; Ziliotto, Fiorenza; Zaffalon, Valerio; Casadoro, Giorgio; Ramina, Angelo
January 2011
BMC Plant Biology;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p107
Academic Journal
Background: Field observations and a few physiological studies have demonstrated that peach embryogenesis and fruit development are tightly coupled. In fact, attempts to stimulate parthenocarpic fruit development by means of external tools have failed. Moreover, physiological disturbances during early embryo development lead to seed abortion and fruitlet abscission. Later in embryo development, the interactions between seed and fruit development become less strict. As there is limited genetic and molecular information about seed-pericarp crosstalk and development in peach, a massive gene approach based on the use of the μPEACH 1.0 array platform and quantitative real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to study this process. Results: A comparative analysis of the transcription profiles conducted in seed and mesocarp (cv Fantasia) throughout different developmental stages (S1, S2, S3 and S4) evidenced that 455 genes are differentially expressed in seed and fruit. Among differentially expressed genes some were validated as markers in two subsequent years and in three different genotypes. Seed markers were a LTP1 (lipid transfer protein), a PR (pathogenesis-related) protein, a prunin and LEA (Late Embryogenesis Abundant) protein, for S1, S2, S3 and S4, respectively. Mesocarp markers were a RD22-like protein, a serin-carboxypeptidase, a senescence related protein and an Aux/IAA, for S1, S2, S3 and S4, respectively. The microarray data, analyzed by using the HORMONOMETER platform, allowed the identification of hormoneresponsive genes, some of them putatively involved in seed-pericarp crosstalk. Results indicated that auxin, cytokinins, and gibberellins are good candidates, acting either directly (auxin) or indirectly as signals during early development, when the cross-talk is more active and vital for fruit set, whereas abscisic acid and ethylene may be involved later on. Conclusions: In this research, genes were identified marking different phases of seed and mesocarp development. The selected genes behaved as good seed markers, while for mesocarp their reliability appeared to be dependent upon developmental and ripening traits. Regarding the cross-talk between seed and pericarp, possible candidate signals were identified among hormones. Further investigations relying upon the availability of whole genome platforms will allow the enrichment of a marker genes repertoire and the elucidation of players other than hormones that are involved in seed-pericarp cross-talk (i.e. hormone peptides and microRNAs).


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