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Transcript analyses reveal a comprehensive role of abscisic acid in modulating fruit ripening in Chinese jujube

Zhang, Zhong, Kang, Chenxuan, Zhang, Shuyi, Li, Xingang
BMC plant biology 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 189
9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, Ziziphus jujuba, abscisic acid, beta-glucosidase, cell walls, gene expression regulation, genes, lipids, messenger RNA, non-climacteric fruits, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, photosynthesis, protein kinases, ripening, starch, sucrose, transcription factors
BACKGROUND: Chinese jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) is a non-climacteric fruit; however, the underlying mechanism of ripening and the role of abscisic acid involved in this process are not yet understood for this species. RESULTS: In the present study, a positive correlation between dynamic changes in endogenous ABA and the onset of jujube ripening was determined. Transcript analyses suggested that the expression balance among genes encoding nine-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (ZjNCED3), ABA-8′-hydroxylase (ZjCYP707A2), and beta-glucosidase (ZjBG4, ZjBG5, ZjBG8, and ZjBG9) has an important role in maintaining ABA accumulation, while the expression of a receptor (ZjPYL8), protein phosphatase 2C (ZjPP2C4–8), and sucrose nonfermenting 1-related protein kinase 2 (ZjSnRK2–2 and ZjSnRK2–5) is important in regulating fruit sensitivity to ABA applications. In addition, white mature ‘Dongzao’ fruit were harvested and treated with 50 mg L⁻ ¹ ABA or 50 mg L⁻ ¹ nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) to explore the role of ABA in jujube fruit ripening. By comparative transcriptome analyses, 1103 and 505 genes were differentially expressed in response to ABA and NDGA applications on the 1st day after treatment, respectively. These DEGs were associated with photosynthesis, secondary, lipid, cell wall, and starch and sugar metabolic processes, suggesting the involvement of ABA in modulating jujube fruit ripening. Moreover, ABA also exhibited crosstalk with other phytohormones and transcription factors, indicating a regulatory network for jujube fruit ripening. CONCLUSIONS: Our study further elucidated ABA-associated metabolic and regulatory processes. These findings are helpful for improving strategies for jujube fruit storage and for gaining insights into understand complex non-climacteric fruit ripening processes.