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A beta-galactosidase gene is expressed during mature fruit abscission of 'Valencia' orange (Citrus sinensis)

Wu, Z.C., Burns, J.K.
Journal of experimental botany 2004 v.55 no.402 pp. 1483-1490
beta-galactosidase, gene expression, fruits (plant anatomy), Citrus sinensis, oranges, fruit drop, plant genetics, cell walls, hydrolases, corolla, stamens, pyrazoles, nucleotide sequences, sequence analysis, complementary DNA, ripening, messenger RNA, ethephon, gene expression regulation, isolation, phylogeny, amino acid sequences
beta-galactosidases have been detected in a wide range of plants and are characterized by their ability to hydrolyse terminal non-reducing beta-D-galactosyl residues from beta-D-galactosides. These enzymes have been detected in a wide range of plant organs and tissues. In a search for differentially expressed genes during the abscission process in citrus, sequences encoding beta-galactosidase were identified. Three cDNA fragments of a beta-galactosidase gene were isolated from a cDNA subtraction library constructed from mature fruit abscission zones 48 h after the application of a mature fruit-specific abscission agent, 5-chloro-3-methyl-4-nitro-1 H-pyrazole (CMN-pyrazole). Based on sequence information derived from these fragments, a full-length cDNA of 2847 nucleotides (GenBank accession number AY029198) encoding beta-galactosidase was isolated from mature fruit abscission zones by 5'- and 3'-RACE approaches. The beta-galactosidase cDNA encoded a protein of 737 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular weight of 82 kDa. The deduced protein was highly homologous to plant beta-galactosidases expressed in fruit ripening. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that at least two closely related beta-galactosidase genes were present in 'Valencia' orange. Temporal expression patterns in mature fruit abscission zones indicated beta-galactosidase mRNA was detected 48 h after treatment of CMN-pyrazole and ethephon in mature fruit abscission zones. beta-galactosidase transcripts were detected in leaf abscission zones only after ethephon application. The citrus beta-galactosidase was expressed in stamens and petals of fully opened flowers and young fruitlets. The results suggest that this beta-galactosidase may play a role during abscission as well as early growth and development processes in flowers and fruitlets.