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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » Vegetable Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397806

Research Project: Cranberry Genetics and Insect Management

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Title: Characterization of GALA (a-galactosidase) gene family and studying its response to elevated CO2 in Lycium barbarum

item MA, YAPING - Nanjing Forestry University
item CAO, BING - Ningxia University
item Mura, Jyostna
item FENG, XUERUI - Ningxia University
item LI, YUNMAO - Ningxia University
item SONG, LIHUA - Ningxia University
item GAO, HANDONG - Nanjing Forestry University

Submitted to: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2023
Publication Date: 2/18/2023
Citation: Ma, Y., Cao, B., Mura, J.D., Feng, X., Li, Y., Song, L., Gao, H. 2023. Characterization of GALA (a-galactosidase) gene family and studying its response to elevated CO2 in Lycium barbarum. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 208 (2023) 105270.

Interpretive Summary: Elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere can alter the sugar content and composition of fruits and vegetables. Gojiberries grown under elevated CO2 for an extended period of time exhibited a decrease in some sugars. In this study, we aim to identify the a-galactosidase enzymes involved in the regulation of sugar metabolism under elevated CO2. We identified and characterized seven a-galactosidase from gojiberry and investigated their expression in response to elevated CO2 levels. Our research revealed that a-galactosidase enzymes are essential sugar metabolism pathway regulators. The research will be useful in producing high-quality goji berries to improve farmers' livelihoods and human nutrition in the face of future climate change scenarios.

Technical Abstract: Elevated CO2 affects the fruit quality of goji berries, particularly sugars and polysaccharides, by regulating genes involved in sugar metabolism. GALA (a-galactosidase) plays an essential role in regulating carbohydrate partitioning and fruit sugars. However, little is known about the regulatory functions of GALA and its response to climate change in goji berries. This study aimed to identify, analyze, characterize, and validate the GALA gene family of goji berries and their role in sugar metabolism. Phylogenetic analysis clustered all seven identified GALA genes into a single group, which may have acquired specialized functions during evolution. A significant correlation between gene expression and galactose and an increase in fruit sugars was observed in the T1 transgenics grown under elevated CO2 levels. Subcellular localization and bimolecular fluorescence analysis revealed that LbGALA1-LbGALA4 are found in the plasma membrane and cytoplasm but that only LbGALA1-LbGALA3 have protein interactions in these locations. This study provides novel information on the LbGALA gene family and demonstrates their regulatory role in sugar accumulation and CO2 response. The data will be useful in screening and breeding goji berry cultivars and similar species with high sugar content, as well as providing a new perspective on plant response to climate change.