USING FUNCTIONAL AND APPLIED GENOMICS TO IMPROVE STRESS AND DISEASE RESISTANCE IN FRUIT TREES
Location: Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection
Title: Differential expression of genes in apple during gradual water deficit conditions
Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 5, 2007
Publication Date: January 12, 2008
Citation: Bassett, C.L., Wisniewski, M.E., Baldo, A.M., Artlip, T.S., Farrell, Jr., R.E. Differential expression of genes in apple during gradual water deficit conditions. Plant and Animal Genome Conference Abstracts Vol. 16: pg 136, 2008.
Compared to other perennials, apple trees are relatively well adapted to water deficit conditions, but the mechanisms by which these trees are able to survive periods of drought have not been characterized at the biochemical and molecular levels. To begin to understand how apple copes with periods of gradual, but severe, drought, we conducted experiments to identify up- and down-regulated genes from roots of young apple trees (Malus x domestica, cv Royal Gala) subjected to two weeks at 45% water saturation. RNA was isolated from roots of trees subjected to the water deficit treatment and parallel well-watered controls, as well as, subjected to a one-week recovery period. Total RNA from each treatment was converted to cDNA and used to perform forward and reverse subtraction suppressive hybridizations (SSH). Up-regulated genes unique to the severe water deficit treatment included several defense-responsive genes, two transcription factors, ripening-associated genes, and an aquaporin. A ripening-induced protein and an aquaporin were also more abundant in drought-treated trees compared to the well-watered recovered group, suggesting that these genes may play a crucial role in the response of apple to drought.