A Prunus persica genome-wide RNA-seq approach uncovers major differences in the transcriptome among chilling injury sensitive and non-sensitive varieties
Vizoso, Paula [Univ Mayor, Ctr Propagac & Conservac Vegetal, Santiago, Chile]
Nilo-Poyanco, Ricardo [Univ Mayor, Fac Ciencias, Escuela Biotecnol, Santiago, Chile]
Chilling injury represents a major constrain for crops productivity. Prunus persica, one of the most relevant rosacea crops, have early season varieties that are resistant to chilling injury, in contrast to late season varieties, which display chilling symptoms such as mealiness (dry, sandy fruit mesocarp) after prolonged storage at chilling temperatures. To uncover the molecular processes related to the ability of early varieties to withstand mealiness, postharvest and genome-wide RNA-seq assessments were performed in two early and two late varieties. Differences in juice content and ethylene biosynthesis were detected among early and late season fruits that became mealy after exposed to prolonged chilling. Principal component and data distribution analysis revealed that cold-stored late variety fruit displayed an exacerbated and unique transcriptome profile when compared to any other postharvest condition. A differential expression analysis performed using an empirical Bayes mixture modeling approach followed by co-expression and functional enrichment analysis uncover processes related to ethylene, lipids, cell wall, carotenoids and DNA metabolism, light response, and plastid homeostasis associated to the susceptibility or resistance of P. persica varieties to chilling stress. Several of the genes related to these processes are in quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated to mealiness in P. persica. Together, these analyses exemplify how P. persica can be used as a model for studying chilling stress in plants.
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