ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0336.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: apple; fruit size; fruit development; cell division; cell expansion; ripening
Online: 24 June 2022 (09:46:09 CEST)
Apple (Malus x domestica) fruit size is dependent on cell division and cell expansion, processes which are subsequently regulated by plant hormones such as auxins, gibberellins, and cytokinins. In this study, we investigated the role of cell division and cell expansion in apple growth and identified which of the two was more deterministic to final fruit size. Three cultivars of different sizes were selected, namely, ‘Twenty Ounce’ (large-sized), ‘Royal Gala’ (medium-sized), and ‘Crabapple’ (small-sized). Gene expression and cell size analyses were conducted over the course of two consecutive seasons. The expression patterns of three classes of genes were markedly similar across all cultivars. Two cell division markers, namely, MdCDKB2;2 and MdANT2, were discovered to be correlatively expressed as both displayed initially high expression levels, which gradually declined from the early to late stages of growth time course. For cell expansion markers, MdEXP3 was upregulated as the cells expanded, while MdARF106 was expressed in both the cell division and expansion stages. Meanwhile, the ripening related gene MdACO1 was expectedly expressed only during the ending stages associated with ripening. Interestingly, the cell measurements taken regularly from each cultivar throughout the same eperimental timespan showed that cell sizes were unaltered and remained constant from initial pollination at the zeroth Days After Pollination (DAP), to ripening at 120 Days After Full Bloom (DAFB).