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Schaffer etal 2013 AoB PLANTS.pdf (367.55 kB)

SEPALLATA1/2-suppressed mature apples have low ethylene, high auxin and reduced transcription of ripening-related genes

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posted on 2023-05-17, 16:20 authored by Schaffer, RJ, Ireland, HS, John RossJohn Ross, Ling, TJ, David, KM

Background and aims: Fruit ripening is an important developmental trait in fleshy fruits, making the fruit palatable for seed dispersers. In some fruit species, there is a strong association between auxin concentrations and fruit ripening. We investigated the relationship between auxin concentrations and the onset of ethylene-related ripening in Malus × domestica (apples) at both the hormone and transcriptome levels.

Methodology: Transgenic apples suppressed for the SEPALLATA1/2 (SEP1/2) class of gene (MADS8/9) that showed severely reduced ripening were compared with untransformed control apples. In each apple type, free indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) concentrations were measured during early ripening. The changes observed in auxin were assessed in light of global changes in gene expression.

Principal results: It was found that mature MADS8/9-suppressed apples had a higher concentration of free IAA. This was associated with increased expression of the auxin biosynthetic genes in the indole-3-acetamide pathway. Additionally, in the MADS8/9-suppressed apples, there was less expression of the GH3 auxin-conjugating enzymes. A number of genes involved in the auxin-regulated transcription (AUX/IAA and ARF classes of genes) were also observed to change in expression, suggesting a mechanism for signal transduction at the start of ripening.

Conclusions: The delay in ripening observed in MADS8/9-suppressed apples may be partly due to high auxin concentrations. We propose that, to achieve low auxin associated with fruit maturation, the auxin homeostasis is controlled in a two-pronged manner: (i) by the reduction in biosynthesis and (ii) by an increase in auxin conjugation. This is associated with the change in expression of auxin-signalling genes and the up-regulation of ripening-related genes.


Publication title

AoB Plants



Article number









School of Natural Sciences


Oxford University Press

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2012 The Authors

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences

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