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Identification of organic acid-related genes and their expression profiles in two pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) cultivars with difference in predominant acid type at fruit ripening stage

Lu, Xiao-Peng, Liu, Yong-Zhong, Zhou, Gao-Feng, Wei, Qing-Jiang, Hu, Hong-Ju, Peng, Shu-Ang
Scientia horticulturae 2011 v.129 no.4 pp. 680-687
Pyrus pyrifolia, citric acid, cultivars, developmental stages, enzyme activity, fruiting, gene expression, isocitrate dehydrogenase, malate dehydrogenase, malic acid, malic enzyme, pears, ripening
‘Yandangxueli’ is a pear cultivar with predominant citric acid in the ripe fruit, different from most of pear cultivars such as ‘Gengtouqing’ in which malic acid is the predominant acid type. It was found that ‘Yandangxueli’ accumulated citric acid for three times against that in ‘Gengtouqing’ at fruit ripening stage. To investigate the mechanism of citric acid accumulation in ‘Yandangxueli’, organic acids content, gene expression and enzyme activity were studied in both cultivars. Five genes, Pp:mtCs, Pp:cyAco, Pp:cyIdh, Pp:mtMdh and Pp:cyMe which encoded citric synthase (CS), cytosolic aconitase (cyACO), NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (NADP-IDH), NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenase (NAD-MDH) and NADP-dependent malic enzyme (NADP-ME) respectively, were identified from pear fruit. Their expression profiles and the corresponding enzyme activities were determined throughout fruit development in both cultivars. Results from these enzymes indicated that there were no strict relationship between gene expression, enzyme activity and citric acid accumulation. Expression analysis for two Py:vVAtp genes encoding vacuolar H⁺-ATPase A subunit and one Py:vVpp gene encoding Vacuolar H⁺-pyrophosphatase showed that they were all with up-regulated expression at the later development stage of ‘Yandangxueli’ but with down-regulated expression in ‘Gengtouqing’. Therefore, it is concluded that the different ability in citric acid transportation and storage might be involved in the high citric acid content in ‘Yandangxueli’.