Exocarp color of sand pear is an important trait for the fruit production and has caused our concern for a long time. Our previous study explored the different expression genes between the two genotypes contrasting for exocarp color, which indicated the different suberin, cutin, wax and lignin biosynthesis between the russet- and green-exocarp. In this study, we carried out microscopic observation and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis to detect the differences of tissue structure and biochemical composition between the russet- and green-exocarp of sand pear. The green exocarp was covered with epidermis and cuticle which was replaced by a cork layer on the surface of russet exocarp, and the chemicals of the russet exocarp were characterized by lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose. We explored differential gene expression between the russet exocarp of ‘Niitaka’ and its green exocarp mutant cv. ‘Suisho’ using Illumina RNA-sequencing. A total of 559 unigenes showed different expression between the two types of exocarp, and 123 of them were common to the previous study. The quantitative real time-PCR analysis supports the RNA-seq-derived gene with different expression between the two types of exocarp and revealed the preferential expression of these genes in exocarp than in mesocarp and fruit core. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed divorced expression of lipid metabolic process genes, transport genes, stress responsive genes and other biological process genes in the two types of exocarp. Expression changes in lignin metabolism-related genes were consistent with the different pigmentation of russet and green exocarp. Increased transcripts of putative genes involved the suberin, cutin and wax biosynthesis in ‘Suisho’ exocarp could facilitate deposition of the chemicals and take a role in the mutant trait responsible for the green exocarp. In addition, the divorced expression of ATP-binding cassette transporters involved in the trans-membrane transport of lignin, cutin, and suberin precursors suggests that the transport process could also affect the composition of exocarp and take a role in the regulation of exocarp pigmentation. Results from this study provide a base for the analysis of the molecular mechanism underlying sand pear russet/green exocarp mutation, and presents a comprehensive list of candidate genes that could be used to further investigate the trait mutation at the molecular level.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2014
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