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Journal of plant physiology

L-Ascorbic acid metabolism during fruit development in an ascorbate-rich fruit crop chestnut rose (Rosa roxburghii Tratt).


PMID 25019249

Abstract

Chestnut rose (Rosa roxburghii Tratt) is a fruit crop that contains unusually high levels of l-ascorbic acid (AsA; ∼1300 mg 100g(-1) FW). To explore the mechanisms underlying AsA metabolism, we investigated the distribution and abundance of AsA during fruit development. We also analyzed gene expression patterns, enzyme activities, and content of metabolites related to AsA biosynthesis and recycling. AsA first accumulated during late fruit development and continued to accumulate during ripening, with the highest accumulation rate near fruit maturity. The redox state of AsA in fruit was also enhanced during late fruit development, while leaf and other tissues had much lower levels of AsA and the redox state of AsA was lower. In mature fruit, AsA was mainly distributed in the cytoplasm of the mesocarp. Correlation analysis suggested that the gene expression patterns, enzyme activities, and related metabolite concentrations involved in the l-galactose pathway showed relatively high correlations with the accumulation rate of AsA. The gene expression pattern and activity of dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR, EC 1.8.5.1) correlated strongly with AsA concentration, possibly indicating the crucial role of DHAR in the accumulation of high levels of AsA in chestnut rose fruit. Over expression of DHAR in Arabidopsis significantly increased the reduced AsA content and redox state. This was more effective than over expression of the l-galactose pathway gene GDP-d-mannose-3,5-epimerase (EC 5.1.3.18). These findings will enhance understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating accumulation of AsA in chestnut rose.