Deciduous fruit trees in a warming world: differentially expressed heat-regulated genes can be used in marker-assisted horticultural practice
Current and progressing global warming is expected to change climate in the classic regions of deciduous fruit tree cultivation. Understanding of the relevant physiological processes and development of appropriate horticultural practices is needed to allow sustainable fruit growth in world regions with warm climate. Israel is making considerable efforts in promoting fruit production under warm conditions, and serves as a natural laboratory for developing new horticultural practices to cope with warm climate. In this study, mature 'Golden Delicious' trees, growing in a commercial orchard in Israel, were exposed to three different periods of heat treatments, in two constitutive years. Day temperatures of the unheated control trees varied between 14 and 27°C while the heated treatments were generally higher with an average of 11°C increase. A temporary decline of fruit growth was observed under all heat treatments as a result of significant decline of cell production rates and temporary decline of cell expansion. A wide gene expression screening was used for studying regulation of apple fruitlet development under the different temperature regimes. We found that genes, such as Heat Shock Protein and several core cell cycle and cell expansion genes were differentially expressed upon exposure of apple fruitlets to high temperature. Our data indicate that the expression of HSP2 and KRPs might be associated with temperature regime. We suggest that heat-related genes can be used as markers in horticultural practices. This tool will allow real time evaluation of relevant environmental cues and application of beneficial and effective horticultural practices. We predict that future application of those differentially regulated genes can incorporate them as a part of on-line automated computerized sensors which will be used to regulate new horticultural practices and to cope with the need of growing fruit trees under changing climate conditions.
Flaishman, M.A., Peles, Y., Dehan, Y., Frieman, A., Peer, R. and Cochavi, S.M. (2017). Deciduous fruit trees in a warming world: differentially expressed heat-regulated genes can be used in marker-assisted horticultural practice. Acta Hortic. 1177, 327-332
fruit development, cell cycle genes, heat-stress, global warming, climate change, apple