Proteome analysis of pear reveals key genes associated with fruit development and quality.

PMID 25682102


Comparative and association analyses of the proteome and transcriptome for pear fruit development were conducted for the first time in this study. Pear fruit development involves complex physiological and biochemical processes, but there is still little knowledge available at proteomic and transcriptomic levels, which would be helpful for understanding the molecular mechanisms of fruit development and quality in pear. In our study, three important stages, including early development (S4-22), middle development (S6-27), and near ripening (S8-30), were investigated in 'Dangshansuli' by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) labeling technology, identifying a total of 1,810 proteins during pear fruit development. The association analysis of proteins and transcript expression revealed 1,724, 1,722, and 1,718 associated proteins identified in stages S4-22, S6-27, and S8-30, respectively. A total of 237, 318, and 425 unique proteins were identified as differentially expressed during S4-22 vs S6-27, S6-27 vs S8-30, S4-22 vs S8-30, respectively, and the corresponding correlation coefficients of the overall differentially expressed proteins and transcripts data were 0.6336, 0.4113, and 0.7049. The phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway, which is related to lignin formation of pear fruit, was identified as a significantly enriched pathway during early stages of fruit development. Finally, a total of 35 important differentially expressed proteins related to fruit quality were identified, including three proteins related to sugar formation, seven proteins related to aroma synthesis, and sixteen proteins related to the formation of lignin. In addition, qRT-PCR verification provided further evidence to support differentially expressed gene selection. This study is the first to reveal protein and associated mRNA variations in pear during fruit development and quality conformation, and identify key genes and proteins helpful for future functional genomics studies, and provides gene resources for improvement of pear quality.