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Ayako Ikegami, Keizo Yonemori, Akira Kitajima, Akihiko Sato, and Masahiko Yamada

Expression patterns of the genes involved in condensed tannin (CT) biosynthesis during fruit development was investigated in a Chinese pollination-constant, nonastringent (PCNA) persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) `Luo Tian Tian Shi'. The transcript levels of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) and dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) in `Luo Tian Tian Shi' were detected at high levels throughout the fruit growth. Chalcone synthase (CHS) and flavonol 3-hydroxylase (F3H) also continued to be transcribed during fruit growth, although their levels decreased earlier than PAL and DFR. In contrast, expression levels of these genes declined into undetectable levels at an early stage of fruit development in Japanese PCNA persimmon. In addition, anthocyanidin reductase (ANR), which encodes a key enzyme of the proanthocyanidin biosynthesis, was transcribed at high levels in `Luo Tian Tian Shi' during fruit growth, but not in Japanese PCNA persimmon. By contrast, the expression of D. kaki serine carboxypeptidase-like protein 1 (DkSCPL1) that was obtained from suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) analysis between artificially astringency-removed fruit and astringent fruit in a different experiment, declined earlier than the other flavonoid biosynthesis genes in `Luo Tian Tian Shi', coincident with the termination of the tannin cell development. In the F1 progeny of the cross between `Luo Tian Tian Shi' and Japanese PCNA `Taishu', similar expression patterns were obtained among segregated PCNA and astringent offspring. These results indicate that Chinese PCNA is different from Japanese PCNA in expression of the genes involved in CT biosynthesis. In conclusion, we clarified that expression of the genes (PAL to ANR, but not SCPL) involved in flavonoid biosynthesis was continuous in the Chinese PCNA cultivar, despite the termination of tannin cell development.

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Ayako Ikegami, Keizo Yonemori, Akira Sugiura, Akihiko Sato, and Masahiko Yamada

Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) cultivars are classified into four types depending on the nature of astringency loss of the fruit. The pollination-constant, non-astringent (PCNA) persimmons lose their astringency on the tree as the fruits develop. This PCNA trait is qualitatively inherited and recessive to the other three types, pollination-constant, astringent (PCA), pollination-variant, nonastringent (PVNA), and pollination-variant, astringent (PVA). In fact, crosses among Japanese PCNA cultivars yield only PCNA type in F1 generation as shown in recent breeding programs at the National Institute of Fruit Tree Science. Despite these previous results, we demonstrated here that non-PCNA (PVNA, PVA, and PCA) type offspring were derived at relatively high rates in the F1 generation from a cross between `Luo Tian Tian Shi', a PCNA accession from China, and the Japanese PCNA cultivar, `Taishu', despite the fact that `Luo Tian Tian Shi' was confirmed to be a true PCNA type by measuring tannin cell size, a principal morphological characteristic to distinguish PCNA cultivars from non-PCNA ones. When segregations of tannin cell size and tannin content in three progenies of the breeding populations derived from Chinese PCNA `Luo Tian Tian Shi' × Japanese PCNA `Taishu', Japanese PCNA `Shinshu' × Japanese PCNA `Taishu', and Japanese PVNA (non-PCNA) `Kurokuma' × Japanese PCNA `Taishu' were investigated, all offspring between Japanese PCNA cultivars contained only small tannin cells and were PCNA types, and those between Japanese PVNA × PCNA cultivars contained only large tannin cells and were non-PCNA types. However, hybrids between `Luo Tian Tian Shi' and `Taishu' segregated into populations of small and large tannin cells, indicating that `Luo Tian Tian Shi' is likely heterozygous for astringency. Therefore, Chinese PCNA `Luo Tian Tian Shi' should be different from Japanese PCNA cultivars in genetic makeup.

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Takashi Akagi, Yumi Takeda, Keizo Yonemori, Ayako Ikegami, Atsushi Kono, Masahiko Yamada, and Shinya Kanzaki

Persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) is generally hexaploid, and a single AST locus controls the pollination-constant non-astringency trait on each of six corresponding chromosomes. The pollination-constant non-astringent (PCNA) genotype is nulliplex and requires homozygous recessive alleles (ast) at the AST locus. There are several non-PCNA cultivars/selections that could be cross parents; however, the probability of yielding nulliplex offspring depends on the number of recessive alleles (ast). In genotyping for the AST locus in hexaploid persimmon, in contrast to the situation in diploid plants, we need to detect the AST/ast allele dosage; this cannot be detected by common codominant markers. In this study, we detected the allele dosage of Mast, which is a marker allele strongly linked to the ast allele among cultivars, by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) using three reference sites, actin (DkAct), anthocyanin reductase (DkANR), and L5R, whose sequences are conserved in the genome of persimmon cultivars. Based on the allele dosage of the Mast, AST/ast genotypes were estimated for 63 non-astringent cultivars/selections, of which only five cultivars/selections were estimated to be simplex or duplex. The quantitative genotyping method using qPCR may be generally effective for polyploid plants.

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Ayako Ikegami, Sai Eguchi, Keizo Yonemori, Masahiko Yamada, Akihiko Sato, Nobuhito Mitani, and Akira Kitajima

Pollination-constant and nonastringent (PCNA) is one of the most desirable traits in persimmons as this type of cultivar loses its astringency while still on the tree before harvest. Among Japanese PCNA cultivars, the trait is qualitatively inherited and recessive to pollination-constant, astringent (PCA), pollination-variant, nonastringent (PVNA), and pollination-variant, astringent (PVA) types. However, in a previous trial, both astringent and nonastringent types segregated in the F1 population that resulted from a cross between a Chinese PCNA `Luo Tian Tian Shi' and a Japanese PCNA cultivar. Because of the unusual segregation, in this study, we crossed another Japanese PCNA `Okugosho' with `Luo Tian Tian Shi' to confirm the segregation of astringent types by measuring the tannin cell size and tannin concentration at harvest. Previously, we found that astringent types have larger tannin cells than PCNA-type. The F1 hybrid progenies from the cross segregated into both PCNA and astringent-type individuals in approximately 1:1 ratio. Likewise, the F1 population from the astringent-type `Yotsumizo' and `Iwasedo' × `Luo Tian Tian Shi' were ascertained to contain both PCNA and astringent types, which indicates that the PCNA trait of `Luo Tian Tian Shi' was dominant. Thus, this Chinese cultivar has the potential to become an important parental material for future breeding of PCNA persimmons.

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Keizo Yonemori, Ayako Ikegami, Sai Eguchi, Akira Kitajima, Shinya Kanzaki, Akihiko Sato, and Masahiko Yamada

There is a non-astringent type of persimmon that loses its astringency naturally on trees, despite the absence of seeds. This type is called pollination-constant and non-astringent (PCNA)-type. PCNA-type was thought to have originated in Japan as a mutant that terminates tannin accumulation at an early stage of fruit development. This trait is confirmed to be recessive and the PCNA-type must be homozygous in all alleles. In fact, crossing among PCNA-type individuals yields only the PCNA-type in F1, while crossing between PCNA-type and non-PCNA-type yields only the non-PCNA-type. However, a new PCNA cultivar, `Luo Tian Tian Shi', was reported in 1982 to exist in Luo Tian County, China, and this PCNA-type seemed to have different mechanisms to be PCNA-type. Our previous report showed that a crossing between `Luo Tian Tian Shi' and Japanese PCNA `Taishu' yielded both PCNA-type and astringent-type in F1, indicating that the trait of PCNA in `Luo Tian Tian Shi' may be dominant. To confirm this hypothesis, we made crossings between `Luo Tian Tian Shi' and Japanese astringent-type `Yotsumizo' or `Iwasedo', and top-grafted these seedlings for earlier fruiting. As we had some fruits in a total of 25 F1 individuals last year, we investigated segregation of astringency among these individuals. We also confirmed the parental relationships of these progenies by analyzing several SSR markers. We confirmed the segregation of PCNA-type and astringent-type in F1. No mistake of artificial pollination was shown in all individuals by SSR markers. Thus, we concluded that the trait of astringency-loss in `Luo Tian Tian Shi' is dominant and the use of this cultivar as a parent will open a new window for breeding PCNA-type persimmon.

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Keizo Yonemori, Junya Yoshida, Ayako Ikegami, Akihiko Sato, Masahiko Yamada, and Akira Kitajima

Pollination-constant and non-astringent (PCNA)-type persimmon has probably originated from astringent (non-PCNA)-type as a mutant that terminates condensed tannin accumulation at an early stage of fruit development. This trait is confirmed to be recessive and is controlled by a single locus. Since PCNA-type fruit stops tannin accumulation at an early stage, comparison of the gene expressions between PCNA- and non-PCNA-type will reveal the genes conferring condensed tannin accumulation in persimmon fruit. We performed suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) analysis for detecting differentially expressed genes in non-PCNA-type fruit using BC1 offspring from a cross between PCNA `Fuyu' and non-PCNA “275-13” (F1 progeny derived from non-PCNA `Aizumishirazu' × PCNA `Taishu'). Fruits from seven individuals of PCNA or non-PCNA offspring in BC1 were sampled at early two stages of fruit development and total RNA was extracted by hot borate method from each fruit of different stage. Then, RNA was pooled as PCNA or non-PCNA bulk at two stages and cDNA was synthesized from each bulk for SSH analysis. A total of 5000 clones expressed differentially in non-PCNA-type fruit were picked from SSH library of two stages and 198 positive clones confirmed by differential screening were sequenced. The homologous sequences for the genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis (CHS, CHI, F3H, F3'5'H, DFR, UFGT, and ANS) were obtained from the clones. The genes that are not considered to be involved in flavonoid biosynthesis so far (SCPL and DHQ) were also detected with high frequencies. We will discuss the role of these genes for condensed tannin accumulation in persimmon fruit.