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Transcriptional Profiles Underlying the Effects of Methyl Jasmonate on Apple Ripening

Feng, Shouqian, Sun, Jingjing, Sun, Shasha, Wang, Yanling, Tian, Changping, Sun, Qingtian, Chen, Xuesen
Journal of plant growth regulation 2017 v.36 no.2 pp. 271-280
anthocyanins, apples, auxins, biosynthesis, ethylene, gene expression regulation, genes, hormones, jasmonic acid, methyl jasmonate, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, ripening, signal transduction, transcription (genetics)
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) has significant effects on the apple ripening process, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which MeJA acts in the regulation of this complicated process. To address this question, transcriptome profiles of MeJA-treated apples and mock-treated controls were generated using RNA-sequencing technology and then compared. A total of 1092 transcripts changed significantly in response to MeJA, with 684 up-regulated and 408 down-regulated. In MeJA-treated apples, genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis and transport were commonly up-regulated. The up-regulated genes also included genes in the biosynthetic and signal transduction pathways for the hormones jasmonic acid and ethylene. In contrast, exogenous MeJA generally down-regulated genes associated with auxin signal transduction. Furthermore, the transcript levels of 10 jasmonic acid biosynthetic genes, 7 selected ethylene biosynthetic and signal transduction genes, 5 selected auxin signal transduction genes, and 8 selected anthocyanin biosynthetic and transport genes were confirmed via real-time qPCR. These results suggest that MeJA promotes apple ripening, likely by activating ethylene signaling and inhibiting auxin action. Because MeJA-treated apples have previously been documented to have high anthocyanin concentrations, the molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon is also discussed.