Comparative transcriptome analysis of stylar canal cells identifies novel candidate genes implicated in the self-incompatibility response of Citrus clementina
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AuthorCaruso, Marco; Merelo, Paz; Distefano, Gaetano; La Malfa, Stefano; Lo Piero, Angela Roberta; Tadeo, Francisco R.; Talón, Manuel; Gentile, Alessandra
Cita bibliográficaCaruso, Marco, Merelo, Paz, Distefano, Gaetano, La Malfa, Stefano, Lo Piero, Angela RoB., Tadeo, F.R., Talón, M., Gentile, Alessandra (2012). Comparative transcriptome analysis of stylar canal cells identifies novel candidate genes implicated in the self-incompatibility response of Citrus clementina. Bmc Plant Biology, 12, 20-20.
Background: Reproductive biology in citrus is still poorly understood. Although in recent years several efforts have been made to study pollen-pistil interaction and self-incompatibility, little information is available about the molecular mechanisms regulating these processes. Here we report the identification of candidate genes involved in pollen-pistil interaction and self-incompatibility in clementine (Citrus clementina Hort. ex Tan.). These genes have been identified comparing the transcriptomes of laser-microdissected stylar canal cells (SCC) isolated from two genotypes differing for self-incompatibility response ('Comune', a self-incompatible cultivar and 'Monreal', a self-compatible mutation of 'Comune'). Results: The transcriptome profiling of SCC indicated that the differential regulation of few specific, mostly uncharacterized transcripts is associated with the breakdown of self-incompatibility in 'Monreal'. Among them, a novel F-box gene showed a drastic up-regulation both in laser microdissected stylar canal cells and in self-pollinated whole styles with stigmas of 'Comune' in concomitance with the arrest of pollen tube growth. Moreover, we identify a non-characterized gene family as closely associated to the self-incompatibility genetic program activated in 'Comune'. Three different aspartic-acid rich (Asp-rich) protein genes, located in tandem in the clementine genome, were over-represented in the transcriptome of 'Comune'. These genes are tightly linked to a DELLA gene, previously found to be up-regulated in the self-incompatible genotype during pollen-pistil interaction. Conclusion: The highly specific transcriptome survey of the stylar canal cells identified novel genes which have not been previously associated with self-pollen rejection in citrus and in other plant species. Bioinformatic and transcriptional analyses suggested that the mutation leading to self-compatibility in 'Monreal' affected the expression of non-homologous genes located in a restricted genome region. Also, we hypothesize that the Asp-rich protein genes may act as Ca2+ "entrapping" proteins, potentially regulating Ca2+ homeostasis during self-pollen recognition.