Transcriptional Landscape and Dynamics Involved in Sugar and Acid Accumulation during Apple Fruit Development
Published:05 Jun.2024    Source:Plant Physiology
In fleshy fruit, sugars and acids are central components of fruit flavor and quality. To date, the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of sugar and acid during fruit development remain largely unknown. Here, we combined ATAC-seq with RNA-seq to investigate the genome-wide chromatin accessibility and to identify putative transcription factors related to sugar and acid accumulation during apple (Malus domestica) fruit development.
By integrating the differentially accessible regions (DARs) and differentially expressed genes (DEGs), we generated a global dataset of promoter-accessibility- and expression-increased genes (PEIGs). Using this strategy, we constructed a transcriptional regulatory network enabling screening for key transcription factors and target genes involved in sugar and acid accumulation. Among these transcription factors, five fruit-specific Dof (DNA binding with one finger) genes were selected to confirm their regulatory effects, and our results showed that they could affect sugar or acid concentration by regulating the expression of sugar or acid metabolism-related genes in apple fruits.
Our transcriptional regulatory network provides a suitable platform to identify candidate genes that control sugar and acid accumulation. Meanwhile, our dataset will aid in analyzing other characteristics of apple fruit that have not been illuminated previously. Overall, these findings support a better understanding of the regulatory dynamics during apple fruit development and lay a foundation for quality improvement of apple.