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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(12), 16084-16103; doi:10.3390/ijms131216084
Article

Carbohydrate Stress Affecting Fruitlet Abscission and Expression of Genes Related to Auxin Signal Transduction Pathway in Litchi

1,†
, 2,3,†
, 1
, 2
, 1
, 1
 and 2,*
1 State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources/Guangdong Key Laboratory for Postharvest Science, College of Horticulture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China 2 China Litchi Research Center, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China 3 College of Basic Education, Zhanjiang Normal University, Zhanjiang 524037, China These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2012 / Revised: 6 November 2012 / Accepted: 16 November 2012 / Published: 29 November 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

Auxin, a vital plant hormone, regulates a variety of physiological and developmental processes. It is involved in fruit abscission through transcriptional regulation of many auxin-related genes, including early auxin responsive genes (i.e., auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (AUX/IAA), Gretchen Hagen3 (GH3) and small auxin upregulated (SAUR)) and auxin response factors (ARF), which have been well characterized in many plants. In this study, totally five auxin-related genes, including one AUX/IAA (LcAUX/IAA1), one GH3 (LcGH3.1), one SAUR (LcSAUR1) and two ARFs (LcARF1 and LcARF2), were isolated and characterized from litchi fruit. LcAUX/IAA1, LcGH3.1, LcSAUR1, LcARF1 and LcARF2 contain open reading frames (ORFs) encoding polypeptides of 203, 613, 142, 792 and 832 amino acids, respectively, with their corresponding molecular weights of 22.67, 69.20, 11.40, 88.20 and 93.16 kDa. Expression of these genes was investigated under the treatment of girdling plus defoliation which aggravated litchi fruitlet abscission due to the blockage of carbohydrates transport and the reduction of endogenous IAA content. Results showed that transcript levels of LcAUX/IAA1, LcGH3.1 and LcSAUR1 mRNAs were increased after the treatment in abscission zone (AZ) and other tissues, in contrast to the decreasing accumulation of LcARF1 mRNA, suggesting that LcAUX/IAA1, LcSAUR1 and LcARF1 may play more important roles in abscission. Our results provide new insight into the process of fruitlet abscission induced by carbohydrate stress and broaden our understanding of the auxin signal transduction pathway in this process at the molecular level.
Keywords: Litchi chinensis Sonn.; auxin responsive genes; auxin response factor; clone; gene expression; carbohydrate stress; fruitlet abscission Litchi chinensis Sonn.; auxin responsive genes; auxin response factor; clone; gene expression; carbohydrate stress; fruitlet abscission
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kuang, J.-F.; Wu, J.-Y.; Zhong, H.-Y.; Li, C.-Q.; Chen, J.-Y.; Lu, W.-J.; Li, J.-G. Carbohydrate Stress Affecting Fruitlet Abscission and Expression of Genes Related to Auxin Signal Transduction Pathway in Litchi. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 16084-16103.

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