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Central role of FaGAMYB in the transition of the strawberry receptacle from development to ripening

Vallarino, José G., Osorio, Sonia, Bombarely, Aureliano, Casañal, Ana, Cruz‐Rus, Eduardo, Sánchez‐Sevilla, José F., Amaya, Iraida, Giavalisco, Patrick, Fernie, Alisdair R., Botella, Miguel A., Valpuesta, Victoriano
The new phytologist 2015 v.208 no.2 pp. 482-496
Fragaria, RNA interference, abscisic acid, biochemical pathways, biosynthesis, cell walls, color, flavonoids, fruits, gene expression, genes, humans, ripening, secondary metabolites, strawberries, sucrose, transcription factors
The receptacle of the strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) fruit accounts for the main properties of the ripe fruit for human consumption. As it ripens, it undergoes changes similar to other fruits in sugar : acid ratio, volatile production and cell wall softening. However, the main regulators of this process have not yet been reported. The white stage marks the initiation of the ripening process, and we had previously reported a peak of expression for a FaGAMYB gene. Transient silencing of FaGAMYB using RNAi and further determination of changes in global gene expression by RNAseq, and composition of primary and secondary metabolites have been used to investigate the role played by this gene during the development of the receptacle. Down‐regulation of FaGAMYB caused an arrest in the ripening of the receptacle and inhibited colour formation. Consistent with this, several transcription factors associated with the regulation of flavonoid biosynthetic pathway showed altered expression. FaGAMYB silencing also caused a reduction of ABA biosynthesis and sucrose content. Interestingly, exogenous ABA application to the RNAI‐transformed receptacle reversed most defects caused by FaGAMYB down‐regulation. The study assigns a key regulatory role to FaGAMYB in the initiation of strawberry receptacle ripening and acting upstream of the known regulator ABA.