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Transcriptional regulatory networks controlling woolliness in peach in response to preharvest gibberellin application and cold storage

Pegoraro, Camila, Tadiello, Alice, Girardi, César L., Chaves, Fábio C., Quecini, Vera, Costa de Oliveira, Antonio, Trainotti, Livio, Rombaldi, Cesar Valmor
BMC plant biology 2015 v.15 no.1 pp. 279
Prunus persica, cell death, cell walls, chilling injury, cold storage, gene expression regulation, genes, gibberellic acid, hormone metabolism, immune response, juices, peaches, phenotype, sensory properties, temperature, texture, transcription (genetics), woolliness
BACKGROUND: Postharvest fruit conservation relies on low temperatures and manipulations of hormone metabolism to maintain sensory properties. Peaches are susceptible to chilling injuries, such as ‘woolliness’ that is caused by juice loss leading to a ‘wooly’ fruit texture. Application of gibberellic acid at the initial stages of pit hardening impairs woolliness incidence, however the mechanisms controlling the response remain unknown. We have employed genome wide transcriptional profiling to investigate the effects of gibberellic acid application and cold storage on harvested peaches. RESULTS: Approximately half of the investigated genes exhibited significant differential expression in response to the treatments. Cellular and developmental process gene ontologies were overrepresented among the differentially regulated genes, whereas sequences in cell death and immune response categories were underrepresented. Gene set enrichment demonstrated a predominant role of cold storage in repressing the transcription of genes associated to cell wall metabolism. In contrast, genes involved in hormone responses exhibited a more complex transcriptional response, indicating an extensive network of crosstalk between hormone signaling and low temperatures. Time course transcriptional analyses demonstrate the large contribution of gene expression regulation on the biochemical changes leading to woolliness in peach. CONCLUSION: Overall, our results provide insights on the mechanisms controlling the complex phenotypes associated to postharvest textural changes in peach and suggest that hormone mediated reprogramming previous to pit hardening affects the onset of chilling injuries.