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  • Author or Editor: Ruiyuan Wu x
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Sorbitol is the main photosynthetic product and primary translocated carbohydrate in the Rosaceae and plays fundamental roles in plant growth, fruit quality, and osmotic stress adaptation. To investigate the effect of frequent high temperature during advanced fruit development on fruit quality of chinese sand pear [Pyrus pyrifolia (Burm. f.) Nakai], we analyzed sorbitol metabolism in mature leaves and fruit flesh of potted ‘Wonhwang’ pear trees. In mature leaves, sorbitol synthesis catalyzed by NADP+-dependent sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (S6PDH) was repressed, while sorbitol utilization mainly catalyzed by NAD+-dependent sorbitol dehydrogenase (NAD+-SDH) and NADP+-dependent sorbitol dehydrogenase (NADP+-SDH) was higher than that before high-temperature treatment, which resulted in decreased sorbitol accumulation. In contrast, sucrose accumulation in mature leaves was significantly enhanced in response to high temperatures. In fruit flesh, accumulation of sorbitol and sucrose was increased at the time of harvest under high temperatures. Among sorbitol metabolic enzymes, only NAD+-SDH was sensitive to high temperature in fruit flesh, and significant decrease of NAD+-SDH activity indicated that the fruit sorbitol-uptake capacity was undermined under high temperatures. Transcription analysis revealed tissue-specific responses of NAD+-SDH genes (PpSDH1, PpSDH2, and PpSDH3) to high-temperature treatment. The NAD+-SDH activity and regulation of PpSDH1 and PpSDH3 were positively correlated in mature leaves. However, the downregulation of PpSDH1 and PpSDH2 was consistent with decreased enzyme activity in the fruit flesh. With regard to sorbitol transport, two sorbitol transporter genes (PpSOT1 and PpSOT2) were isolated, and downregulation of PpSOT2 expression in mature leaves indicated that the sorbitol-loading capability decreased under high-temperature conditions because of the limited sorbitol supply. These findings suggested that sorbitol metabolism responded differently in mature leaves and fruit flesh under high temperature, and that these dissimilar responses influenced fruit quality and may play important roles in adaptation to high temperatures.

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