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Influence of crop load on the expression patterns of starch metabolism genes in alternate-bearing citrus trees

AutorNebauer, Sergio G.; Renau-Morata, Begoña; Lluch, Yolanda; Baroja-Fernández, Edurne ; Pozueta Romero, Javier ; Molina, Rosa Victoria
Palabras claveGene expression
Alternate bearer
Enzyme activities
Fruit load
Fecha de publicación5-abr-2014
CitaciónPlant Physiology and Biochemistry 80: 105-113 (2014)
ResumenThe fruit is the main sink organ in Citrus and captures almost all available photoassimilates during its development. Consequently, carbohydrate partitioning and starch content depend on the crop load of Citrus trees. Nevertheless, little is known about the mechanisms controlling the starch metabolism at the tree level in relation to presence of fruit. The aim of this study was to find the relation between the seasonal variation of expression and activity of the genes involved in carbon metabolism and the partition and allocation of carbohydrates in 'Salustiana' sweet orange trees with different crop loads. Metabolisable carbohydrates, and the expression and activity of the enzymes involved in sucrose and starch metabolism, including sucrose transport, were determined during the year in the roots and leaves of 40-year-old trees bearing heavy crop loads ('on' trees) and trees with almost no fruits ('off' trees).Fruit altered photoassimilate partitioning in trees. Sucrose content tended to be constant in roots and leaves, and surplus fixed carbon is channeled to starch production. Differences between 'on' and 'off' trees in starch content can be explained by differences in ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPP) expression/activity and α-amylase activity which varies depending on crop load. The observed relation of AGPP and UGPP (UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase) is noteworthy and indicates a direct link between sucrose and starch synthesis. Furthermore, different roles for sucrose transporter SUT1 and SUT2 have been proposed. Variation in soluble sugars content cannot explain the differences in gene expression between the 'on' and 'off' trees. A still unknown signal from fruit should be responsible for this control. © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2014.03.032
issn: 0981-9428
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