Methyl jasmonate treatment induces changes in fruit ripening by modifying the expression of several ripening genes in Fragaria chiloensis fruit

Cristóbal M Concha, Nicolás E Figueroa, Leticia A Poblete, Felipe A Oñate, Wilfried Schwab, Carlos R Figueroa
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB 2013, 70: 433-44
To investigate the role of jasmonates (JAs) in the ripening of Fragaria chiloensis fruit, two concentrations of methyl jasmonate (MeJA, 10 and 100 μM) were evaluated at 2, 5 and 9 d using an in vitro ripening system. Fruit quality parameters; the contents of anthocyanin, lignin and cell wall polymers; and the transcriptional profiles of several ripening-related genes were analyzed. MeJA accelerated fruit ripening by means of a transitory increase in the soluble solid content/titratable acidity ratio, anthocyanin accumulation and an increase in softening at day 5. The expression of several phenylpropanoid-related genes, primarily those associated with anthocyanin biosynthesis, was increased under MeJA treatment, which correlated with an increased accumulation of anthocyanin. MeJA also altered the expression profiles of some cell wall-modifying genes, namely, EG1 and XTH1, and these changes correlated with a transient reduction in the firmness of MeJA-treated fruits. MeJA-responsive elements were observed in the promoter region of the EG1 gene. MeJA also increased the expression of LOX, AOS and OPR3, genes involved in the biosynthesis of JAs, and these changes correlated with the transient activation of fruit ripening observed. Conversely, the expression of ethylene and lignin biosynthesis genes (ACS, ACO, CAD and POD27) increased in MeJA-treated fruits at day 9. The present findings suggest that JAs promote the ripening of non-climacteric fruits through their involvement in anthocyanin accumulation, cell wall modification and the biosynthesis of ethylene and JAs.

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