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Transcriptome profiling of postharvest strawberry fruit in response to exogenous auxin and abscisic acid

Chen, Jingxin, Mao, Linchun, Lu, Wenjing, Ying, Tiejin, Luo, Zisheng
Planta 2016 v.243 no.1 pp. 183-197
abscisic acid, anthocyanins, cell walls, depolymerization, fruits, gene expression regulation, hormones, indole acetic acid, pectins, phosphotransferases (kinases), physicochemical properties, ripening, signal transduction, strawberries, structural genes, sucrose, transcriptome, transcriptomics, ubiquitin-protein ligase, unigenes
MAIN CONCLUSION : Auxin and abscisic acid regulate strawberry fruit ripening and senescence through cross-talk of their signal transduction pathways that further modulate the structural genes related to physico-chemical properties of fruit. The physiological and transcriptomic changes in harvested strawberry fruits in responses to IAA, ABA and their combination were analyzed. Exogenous IAA delayed the ripening process of strawberries after harvest while ABA promoted the postharvest ripening. However, treatment with a combination of IAA and ABA did not slow down nor accelerate the postharvest ripening in the strawberry fruits. At the molecular level, exogenous IAA up regulated the expressions of genes related to IAA signaling, including AUX/IAA, ARF, TOPLESS and genes encoding E3 ubiquitin protein ligase and annexin, and down regulated genes related to pectin depolymerization, cell wall degradation, sucrose and anthocyanin biosyntheses. In contrast, exogenous ABA induced genes related to fruit softening, and genes involved in signaling pathways including SKP1, HSPs, CK2, and SRG1. Comparison of transcriptomes in responses to individual treatments with IAA or ABA or the combination revealed that there were cooperative and antagonistic actions between IAA and ABA in fruit. However, 17 % of the differentially expressed unigenes in response to the combination of IAA and ABA were unique and were not found in those unigenes responding to either IAA or ABA alone. The analyses also found that receptor-like kinases and ubiquitin ligases responded to both IAA and ABA, which seemed to play a pivotal role in both hormones’ signaling pathways and thus might be the cross-talk points of both hormones.