Comparative analysis of transcriptomes to identify genes associated with fruit size in the early stage of fruit development in Pyrus pyrifolia

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Abstract

Pear (Pyrus L.) is an important commercial fruit in the world. The fruit size is one of the important characters in fruit quality. The previous research reported that the fruit size of pear was mainly caused by the number of cell in about 40 days after blossom (DAB) in nature. However, studies about the mechanisms underlying cell division in young fruit development are very limited in pear. Two pear accessions codenamed ‘GH59B’ with big fruit and ‘GH81S’ with small fruit in three stages were sampled and the RNA-seq high-throughput sequencing was used to evaluate changes of gene transcription levels in the early stage of fruit development. The difference of cell size among two samples was little in 40 DAB, implying that the difference of the fruit size was caused by the number of the cell. More than 274,517,982 high quality reads from six libraries of fruit development were sequenced. A total of 797 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Three cytokinin dehydrogenase genes and two gibberellin 2-beta-dioxygenase gene were identified in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways related to zeatin and gibberellin. Their expression was upregulated at 20 DAB in ‘GH81S’ and at 30 DAB in ‘GH59B’, suggesting that the small fruit size might be related to the early degradation of cytokinin and gibberellin inducing a short period of cell division. A total of 38 DEGs of transcription factors were found and 23 DEGs including NAC, ERF and bHLH transcription factors were highly related with cytokinin dehydrogenase and gibberellin dioxygenase genes. Altogether, the results of the present study provide information from a comprehensive gene expression analysis and insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the difference of fruit size in Pyrus pyrifolia.

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Jiang, S., An, H., Luo, J., Wang, X., Shi, C., & Xu, F. (2018). Comparative analysis of transcriptomes to identify genes associated with fruit size in the early stage of fruit development in Pyrus pyrifolia. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19082342

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