Submitted to: Journal of Experimental Botany
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2007
Publication Date: 5/24/2007
Citation: Xu, X., Gookin, T., Jiang, C., Reid, M. 2007. Genes associated with opening and senescence of mirabilis jalapa flowers. Journal of Experimental Botany. Vol. 58, No. 8, pp. 2193-2201 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: A modest ethylene climacteric accompanies flower senescence in Mirabilis jalapa L., and exogenous ethylene accelerates the process. However, inhibitors of ethylene action and synthesis have little effect on the life-span of these ephemeral flowers. Treatment with '-amanitin, an inhibitor of DNA-dependent RNA synthesis, substantially delays the onset of senescence. This effect falls linearly between 7 h and 8 h after the start of flower opening. Subtractive hybridization was used to isolate transcripts that were up- and down-regulated during this critical period. Eigthy-two up-regulated and 65 down-regulated transcripts were isolated. The genes identified encode homologues of a range of transcription factors, and of proteins involved in protein turnover and degradation. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR was used to examine expression patterns of these genes during flower opening and senescence. Genes that were identified as being down-regulated during senescence showed a common pattern of very high expression during floral opening. These genes included a homologue of CCA1, a ‘clock’ gene identified in Arabidopsis thailiana and an aspartyl protease. Up-regulated genes commonly showed a pattern of increase during the critical period (4-9 h after opening), and some showed very strong up-regulation. For example, the abundance of transcripts encoding a RING zinc finger protein increased >40 000 fold during the critical period.