Physiologia plantarum

Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenases in the mesocarp of ripening fruit of Prunus persica genotypes with different flesh characteristics: changes in activity and protein and transcript levels.

PMID 25534876


Development of fruit flesh texture quality traits may involve the metabolism of phenolic compounds. This study presents molecular and biochemical results on the possible role played by cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD; EC during ripening [S3, S4 I (pre-climacteric) and S4 III (climacteric) stages] of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] fruit with different flesh firmness [non-melting flesh (NMF) 'Oro A'/melting flesh (MF) 'Springcrest' and 'Sanguinella'] and color (blood-flesh Sanguinella). A total of 24 putative full-length PRUPE_CAD genes were identified (in silico analysis) in the peach genome. The most abundant CAD isoforms, encoded by genes located on scaffolds 8 and 6, were probed by specifically developed anti-PRUPE_CAD sc8 and by anti-FaCAD (PRUPE_CAD sc6) polyclonal antibodies, respectively. PRUPE_CAD sc8 proteins (SDS-PAGE and native-PAGE/western blot) appeared responsible for the CAD activity (in vitro/in-gel assays) that increased with ripening (parallel to PRUPE_ACO1 transcripts accumulation and ethylene evolution) only in the mesocarp of Oro A and blood-flesh Sanguinella. Accumulation of PRUPE_CAD sc8 transcripts (semi-quantitative RT-PCR) occurred in all three cultivars, but in Oro A and Springcrest it was not always accompanied by that of the related proteins, suggesting possible post-transcriptional regulation. Flesh firmness, as well as levels of lignin, total phenolics and, where present (Sanguinella), anthocyanins, declined with ripening, suggesting that, at least in the studied peach cultivars, CAD activity is related to neither lignification nor differences in flesh firmness (NMF/MF). Further studies are necessary to clarify whether the high levels of CAD activity/expression in Sanguinella play a role in determining the characteristics of this blood-flesh fruit.