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Differential and reciprocal regulation of ethylene pathway genes regulates petal abscission in fragrant and non-fragrant roses

Singh, Priya, Singh, Amar Pal, Sane, Aniruddha P.
Plant science 2019 v.280 pp. 330-339
Rosa, abscission, biosynthesis, ethylene, ethylene production, gene expression regulation, genes, hybrids, messenger RNA, vase life
The fragrant rose, Rosa bourboniana, is highly sensitive to ethylene and shows rapid petal abscission (within 16–18 h) while the non-fragrant hybrid rose, R. hybrida, shows delayed abscission (50–52 h) due to reduced ethylene sensitivity. To understand the molecular basis governing these differences, all components of the ethylene pathway (biosynthesis/ receptor/signalling) were studied for expression during abscission. Transcript accumulation of most ethylene biosynthesis genes (ACS/ACO families) increased rapidly in petal abscission zones of R. bourboniana within 4–8 h of ethylene treatment. The expression of most receptor and signalling genes encoding CTRs, EIN2 and EIN3/EIL homologues also followed similar kinetics. Under natural field conditions where abscission takes longer, there was a temporal delay in transcript accumulation of most ethylene pathway genes while some biosynthesis genes (showing reduced ethylene sensitivity) were more strongly up-regulated by abscission cues. In contrast, in R. hybrida where even ethylene-induced abscission is considerably delayed, transcript accumulation of most ethylene biosynthesis and signalling genes was, surprisingly, reduced by ethylene and showed an opposite regulation compared to R. bourboniana. The results suggest that differential and reciprocal regulation of ethylene pathway is one of the major reasons for differences in petal abscission and vase-life between Rosa bourboniana and R. hybrida.