Background: Olive (Olea europaea L.) is an emblematic oil tree crop in the Mediterranean basin. Currently, despite olive features as a moderately thermophilic species, its cultivation is worldwide spreading due to the health-related impact of olive products on human nutrition. A point of concern for the expanding olive cultivation is related to the influence that, in addition to genotype, environmental factors exerts on drupe development and metabolism with consequent impact on fruit key traits. In this context, the aim of the present work was to gain further information on the genetic networks controlling drupe maturation phase and, mainly, on their modulation in response to environmental cues. Results: To achieve this goal, a comparative transcriptome-wide investigation was carried out on drupes of Olea europaea cultivar Carolea, collected from plants growing in areas at different altitude level and therefore experiencing different climatic conditions. Two maturation stages of drupe were analysed: green mature and turning-purple. Metabolic characterization of drupe was also performed. At both transcriptomic and metabolic level differences were detected in the pathway of fatty acids (FAs) and phenol compounds, in relation to both drupe maturation stage and cultivation area. Among the most relevant differences detected during the transition from GM to TP stages there were: the upregulation of FADs genes in the drupes of population growing at 700 masl, the upregulation of phenol biosynthesis-related genes in drupes growing at 10 and 200 masl and very interestingly the downregulation of specific genes involved in secoiridoids production in drupes growing at 700 masl. Globally, these results suggested that stability of FAs and phenols, mainly of secoiridoids group, is promoted at high altitude, while at lower altitude phenol biosynthesis is prolonged. Conclusion: The obtained results showed a differential modulation of genetic pathways related to olive compound quality in relation to the cultivation area, likely imposed by the different temperature impending at each altitude. The derived molecular information appears of interest for both breeding and biotechnological programs of olive species, especially with respect to the modulation of antioxidant secoiridoid compounds which play a key role in conferring both sensorial and healthy characteristic to olive products.
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|Titolo:||Changes in gene expression and metabolic profile of drupes of Olea europaea L. cv Carolea in relation to maturation stage and cultivation area|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|