Image_1_Analysis of Metabolites and Gene Expression Changes Relative to Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) Fruit Quality During Development and Ripening.tif (1.69 MB)

Image_1_Analysis of Metabolites and Gene Expression Changes Relative to Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) Fruit Quality During Development and Ripening.tif

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posted on 19.08.2020 by Beatriz Ester García-Gómez, David Ruiz, Juan Alfonso Salazar, Manolo Rubio, Pedro José Martínez-García, Pedro Martínez-Gómez

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) is a valuable worldwide agronomical crop, with a delicious fruit highlighted as a functional food with both nutritional and bioactive properties, remarkably beneficial to human health. Apricot fruit ripening is a coordinated developmental process which requires change in the expression of hundreds to thousands of genes to modify many biochemical and physiological processes arising from quality characteristics in ripe fruit. In addition, enhancing fruit and nutraceutical quality is one of the central objectives to be improved in the new varieties developed by breeding programs. In this study we analyzed the contents of main metabolites linked to the nutraceutical value of apricot fruits, together with the most important pomological characteristics and biochemical contents of fruit during the ripening process in two contrasted apricot genotypes. Additionally, the gene expression changes were analyzed using RNA-Seq and real time qPCR. Results showed that genes with differential expression in the biosynthetic pathways, such as phenylpropanoids, flavonoids, starch and sucrose and carotenoid metabolism, could be possible candidates as molecular markers of fruit quality characteristics for fruit color and soluble solid content. The gene involves in carotenoid metabolism carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 4, and the gene sucrose synthase in starch and sucrose metabolism were identified as candidate genes in the ripening process for white skin ground color and flesh color and high soluble sugar content. The application of these candidate genes on marker-assisted selection in apricot breeding programs may contribute to the early selection of high-quality fruit genotypes with suitable nutraceutical values.

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