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Role of geranylgeranyl reductase gene in organ development and stress response in olive (Olea europaea) plants

Bruno, Leonardo, Chiappetta, Adriana, Muzzalupo, Innocenzo, Gagliardi, Cinzia, Iaria, Domenico, Bruno, Alessandro, Greco, Maria, Giannino, Donato, Perri, Enzo, Bitonti, Maria Beatrice
Functional plant biology 2009 v.36 no.4 pp. 370-381
tocopherols, plant stress, plant development, nicotinamide, messenger RNA, cold stress, olives, oxidoreductases, leaves, active transport, Olea europaea, chlorophyll, chloroplasts, organogenesis
The NADPH-dependent geranylgeranyl reductase gene (OeCHLP) was characterised in olive (Olea europaea L.). OeCHLP catalyses the formation of carbon double bonds in the phytolic side chain of chlorophyll, tocopherols and plastoquinones and, therefore, is involved in metabolic pathways related to plant productivity and stress response, besides to nutritional value of its products. The nuclear OeCHLP encodes a deduced product of 51kDa, which harbours a transit peptide for cytoplasm-to-chloroplast transport and a nicotinamide binding domain. Two estimated identical copies of gene are harboured per haploid genome of the cv. 'Carolea' used in the present study. Levels and cytological pattern of OeCHLP transcription were investigated by quantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridisation. In line with the presence of ubiquitous tocopherols and/or chlorophyll, OeCHLP transcripts were present in various organs of plants. In leaves and fruits at different developmental stages, OeCHLP was differentially expressed in relation to their morpho-physiological features. An early and transient enhancement of gene transcription was detected in leaves of different age exposed to cold treatment (4°C), as well as in fruits mechanically wounded. Moreover, OeCHLP transcripts locally increased in specific cell domains of fruits severely damaged by the pathogen Bactrocera olea. Combined, these data show that OeCHLP expression early responds to biotic and abiotic stressful factors. Levels of tocopherols also increased in leaves exposed to cold conditions and fruits severely damaged by pathogen. We suggest that gene activity under stress condition could be related to tocopherol action.