Factors Affecting Citrus Tree Isozyme-Gene Expression
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Ten enzymatic systems of Citrus species and cultivars have been evaluated for identification purposes and for genetic variability studies. The following factors that could affect their expression were studied: season of sampling, location, rootstock, position of the branch, infection, and age of the tree. Differences involving the presence-absence of the Cu/Zn SOD within the same tree were found. This difference is mainly related to the position of the leaf relative to the sunlight. No change was observed at any of the ten enzymatic systems assayed regarding the location, the rootstock, the growing condition, the season, or the infection with most virus and virus-like pathogens. Viroids induced noticeable changes on 6PG and PRXa zymograms in C. medica. A new peroxidase (not present in healthy plants) was detected that could be related to appearance of symptoms. This may induce errors when trees without sanitary control are characterized by this enzymatic system. On the other hand, it provides a new possibility for studying the plant response to the presence of viroids. An effect of age, from 3 months up to 12 years, was observed on citrange Troyer and mandarin Cleopatra PRX, MDH and 6PG patterns. An important change occurs around the first year, most likely related to the end of the seedling stage. This is followed by a long transition phase, the end of which (around 9 years later) coincides with a change in the PRX pattern. These age-related changes seem to involve post-translational mo difications of pre-existing isozymes.