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Comparative multi-omics analysis reveals diverse latex-based defense strategies against pests among latex-producing organs of the fig tree (Ficus carica)

Kitajima, Sakihito, Aoki, Wataru, Shibata, Daisuke, Nakajima, Daisuke, Sakurai, Nozomu, Yazaki, Kazufumi, Munakata, Ryosuke, Taira, Toki, Kobayashi, Masaru, Aburaya, Shunsuke, Savadogo, EricHyrmeya, Hibino, Susumu, Yano, Haruna
Planta 2018 v.247 no.6 pp. 1423-1438
DNA libraries, Ficus carica, cysteine proteinases, exudation, figs, fruits, gene expression regulation, latex, metabolites, metabolomics, microorganisms, pathogenesis-related proteins, pests, petioles, phytophagous insects, pollinating insects, proteomics, psoralens, ripening, sequence analysis, sesquiterpenoids, signal transduction, toxicity, transcription factors, transcriptomics, trees, trypsin inhibitors, unigenes
MAIN CONCLUSION: Latexes in immature fruit, young petioles and lignified trunks of fig trees protect the plant using toxic proteins and metabolites in various organ-dependent ways. Latexes from plants contain high amounts of toxic proteins and metabolites, which attack microbes and herbivores after exudation at pest-induced wound sites. The protein and metabolite constituents of latexes are highly variable, depending on the plant species and organ. To determine the diversity of latex-based defense strategies in fig tree (Ficus carica) organs, we conducted comparative proteomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses on latexes isolated from immature fruit, young petioles and lignified trunks of F. carica after constructing a unigene sequence library using RNA-seq data. Trypsin inhibitors were the most abundant proteins in petiole latex, while cysteine proteases (“ficins”) were the most abundant in immature fruit and trunk latexes. Galloylglycerol, a possible defense-related metabolite, appeared to be highly accumulated in all three latexes. The expression levels of pathogenesis-related proteins were highest in the latex of trunk, suggesting that this latex had adapted a defensive role against microbe attacks. Although young petioles and immature fruit are both unlignified soft organs, and potential food for herbivorous insects, unigenes for the sesquiterpenoid pathway, which likely produces defense-associated volatiles, and the phenylpropanoid pathway, which produces toxic furanocoumarins, were expressed less in immature fruit latex. This difference may indicate that while petioles and fruit protect the plant from attack by herbivores, the fruit must also attract insect pollinators at younger stages and animals after ripening. We also suggest possible candidate transcription factors and signal transduction proteins that are involved in the differential expression of the unigenes.