Gene expression analysis of flower bud dormancy breaking in almond using RNA-seq

Á.S. Prudencio, F. Dicenta, P. Martínez-Gómez
Almond (Prunus dulcis Miller D.A. Webb) dormancy is a period in the tree lifecycle of great interest for breeding. One of the main objectives of breeding programs is the development of new extra-late flowering cultivars to avoid spring frosts. Flowering time depends on enough chill accumulation for breaking the dormancy state. The understanding of transcription regulation linked to dormancy breaking is necessary for development of new selection tools, as expression markers. In this work, transcriptomes of flower buds in different stages from dormancy to active state were analysed. For this purpose, RNA-seq technology and subsequent informatic analysis were performed. Experimental design included total RNA from flower bud pools of three almond cultivars with different chilling requirements for breaking dormancy and flowering time: 'Desmayo largueta', 'Penta' and 'Tardona'. A total of 22,833 transcript sequences were identified and between 850 and 1,710 transcripts were revealed as differentially expressed in comparisons between samples. RNA-seq data will be validated using qPCR of selected genes, to confirm the observed expression profiles. Results will allow improving our knowledge about the transcriptional network of flower bud dormancy in fruit tree species, revealing differences in regulation of early and late almond cultivars. This information may be used to optimize agronomical production of consistently breed for new late flowering almond cultivars.
Prudencio, Á.S., Dicenta, F. and Martínez-Gómez, P. (2018). Gene expression analysis of flower bud dormancy breaking in almond using RNA-seq. Acta Hortic. 1219, 119-124
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1219.20
Prunus dulcis, dormancy, flowering, breeding, RNA-seq, qPCR

Acta Horticulturae