The role of ethylene and cold temperature in the regulation of the apple POLYGALACTURONASE1 gene and fruit softening

Tacken, E., Ireland, H., Gunaseelan, K., Karunairetnam, S., Wang, D., Schultz, K., Bowen, J., Atkinson, R.G., Johnston, J.W., Putterill, J., Hellens, R.P., & Schaffer, R.J. (2010) The role of ethylene and cold temperature in the regulation of the apple POLYGALACTURONASE1 gene and fruit softening. Plant Physiology, 153(1), pp. 294-305.

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Abstract

Fruit softening in apple (Malus 3 domestica) is associated with an increase in the ripening hormone ethylene. Here, we show that in cv Royal Gala apples that have the ethylene biosynthetic gene ACC OXIDASE1 suppressed, a cold treatment preconditions the apples to soften independently of added ethylene. When a cold treatment is followed by an ethylene treatment, a more rapid softening occurs than in apples that have not had a cold treatment. Apple fruit softening has been associated with the increase in the expression of cell wall hydrolase genes. One such gene, POLYGALACTURONASE1 (PG1), increases in expression both with ethylene and following a cold treatment. Transcriptional regulation of PG1 through the ethylene pathway is likely to be through an ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE3-like transcription factor, which increases in expression during apple fruit development and transactivates the PG1 promoter in transient assays in the presence of ethylene. A coldrelated gene that resembles a COLD BINDING FACTOR (CBF) class of gene also transactivates the PG1 promoter. The transactivation by the CBF-like gene is greatly enhanced by the addition of exogenous ethylene. These observations give a possible molecular mechanism for the coldand ethylene-regulated control of fruit softening and suggest that either these two pathways act independently and synergistically with each other or cold enhances the ethylene response such that background levels of ethylene in the ethylene-suppressed apples is sufficient to induce fruit softening in apples.

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ID Code: 71435
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after 12 months
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1104/pp.109.151092
ISSN: 1532-2548
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 12 May 2014 06:51
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 04:25

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