082 Identification and Partial Characterization of Seasonally Regulated Proteins in Apple Bark Tissues

in HortScience
Authors:
Michael Wisniewski1USDA-ARS, 45 Wiltshire Rd. Kearneysville, WV 25430; 2Oregon State Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Corvallis, OR 97331-7304

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Les Fuchigami1USDA-ARS, 45 Wiltshire Rd. Kearneysville, WV 25430; 2Oregon State Univ., Dept. of Horticulture, Corvallis, OR 97331-7304

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During autumnal leaf senescence, leaf nitrogen is translocated to bark and root tissues for storage. By definition, proteins that accumulate in large amounts in winter and are absent in summer are called storage proteins. These storage proteins are believed to play an important role in spring growth and helping trees to tolerate and/or recover from both abiotic and biotic stress. Little knowledge exists regarding storage proteins in apple, their physiological function, or how management practices impact them. Our objectives in this research was to characterize seasonally regulated proteins in apple, develop knowledge about their physiological function, and determine how they are affected by management practices. Results of the first-year studies have identified four major proteins that exhibit a seasonal pattern of accumulation in bark tissues of apple. One of these is a pathogenesis-related protein, meaning that it plays a role in disease resistance. Another of these proteins is a stress-related protein important in the use of carbohydrates under stress conditions. A third protein is a vegetative storage protein serving as a reserve for nitrogen. The last protein has not been completely identified. Greatest seasonal fluctuation of these proteins occurred in current season and 1-year-old bark tissues. Experimental studies that achieved varying levels of nitrogen in shoot tissues of young Fuji apple trees were examined for the effect on the accumulation of these proteins. Results indicated that despite a significant increase in total nitrogen, increases in the accumulation of these proteins were only slight. Instead, it appears that most of the nitrogen was present as free amino acids rather than stable proteins. These data indicate that more knowledge is required to determine the benefits and feasibility of elevating the levels of specific proteins in dormant apple trees or trying to manipulate the type of amino acids that accumulate.

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