Journal of experimental botany

Ethylene-responsive transcription factors interact with promoters of ADH and PDC involved in persimmon (Diospyros kaki) fruit de-astringency.

PMID 23095993


The persimmon fruit is a particularly good model for studying fruit response to hypoxia, in particular, the hypoxia-response ERF (HRE) genes. An anaerobic environment reduces fruit astringency by converting soluble condensed tannins (SCTs) into an insoluble form. Although the physiology of de-astringency has been widely studied, its molecular control is poorly understood. Both CO(2) and ethylene treatments efficiently removed the astringency from 'Mopan' persimmon fruit, as indicated by a decrease in SCTs. Acetaldehyde, the putative agent for causing de-astringency, accumulated during these treatments, as did activities of the key enzymes of acetaldehyde synthesis, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC). Eight DkADH and DkPDC genes were isolated, and three candidates for a role in de-astringency, DkADH1, DkPDC1, and DkPDC2, were characterized by transcriptional analysis in different tissues. The significance of these specific isoforms was confirmed by principal component analysis. Transient expression in leaf tissue showed that DkPDC2 decreased SCTs. Interactions of six hypoxia-responsive ERF genes and target promoters were tested in transient assays. The results indicated that two hypoxia-responsive ERF genes, DkERF9 and DkERF10, were involved in separately regulating the DkPDC2 and DkADH1 promoters. It is proposed that a DkERF-DkADH/DkPDC cascade is involved in regulating persimmon de-astringency.