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  • Author or Editor: Shutian Tao x
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Lignin is the main component of stone cells, and stone cell content is one of the crucial factors for fruit quality in chinese white pear (Pyrus ×bretschneideri). The lignin biosynthesis pathway is complex and involves many enzymatic reactions. Cinnamate-4-hydroxylase [C4H (EC.] is an essential enzyme in lignin metabolism. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of bagging on lignin metabolism during fruit development in chinese white pear. The study showed that bagging had little effect on stone cell content, lignin content, C4H activity, and C4H gene expression and that there was a positive correlation between C4H gene expression and lignin content as well as stone cell content. Moreover, a full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) encoding C4H (PbrC4H, GenBank accession number KJ577541.1) was isolated from chinese white pear fruit. The cDNA is 1515 bp long and encodes a protein of 504 amino acids. Sequence alignment suggested that the deduced protein belongs to the P450 gene family and that C4H might be located subcellularly in the cell membrane. The results indicate that bagging cannot change the lignin and stone cell content significantly and that C4H catalyzes a step in lignin biosynthesis. These findings provide certain theoretical references and practical criteria for improving the quality of chinese white pear.

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Lignin is one of the main components of plant cell walls, which provides mechanical support for plants and also contributes to resisting against plant pathogenic fungi. In the fruit industry, the lignin content can affect the quality of fruit. The biosynthesis of lignin involves a variety of enzymes, of which caffeoyl-CoA 3-O-methyltransferase (CCoAOMT) is a class of methyltransferases that plays an essential role in lignin biosynthesis. Studies have been conducted on the CCoAOMT gene family in several species, including arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), black poplar (Populus nigra), and cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Still, there is relatively little research on this gene family in the Rosaceae. In this study, we used bioinformatics to identify and characterize the CCoAOMT gene family in apple (Malus domestica), chinese white pear (Pyrus bretschneideri), and peach (Prunus persica). In total, 35 CCoAOMT genes were identified in the three Rosaceae species: 8 from chinese white pear, 12 from apple, and 15 from peach. By using structure analysis and collinearity analysis, we found 12 conserved motifs and 12 pairs of CCoAOMT genes with collinearity. In the phylogenetic tree, the gene family was mainly divided into two groups. The genes had different expression patterns during the growth and development stage of fruit, a finding that is consistent with the pattern of lignin accumulation. This study will be beneficial for further study of CCoAOMT genes.

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