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J Exp Bot. 2010 Feb;61(4):1089-109. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp373. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Proteomic analysis of pollination-induced corolla senescence in petunia.

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  • 1Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University, OARDC, Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA.


Senescence represents the last phase of petal development during which macromolecules and organelles are degraded and nutrients are recycled to developing tissues. To understand better the post-transcriptional changes regulating petal senescence, a proteomic approach was used to profile protein changes during the senescence of Petuniaxhybrida 'Mitchell Diploid' corollas. Total soluble proteins were extracted from unpollinated petunia corollas at 0, 24, 48, and 72 h after flower opening and at 24, 48, and 72 h after pollination. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) was used to identify proteins that were differentially expressed in non-senescing (unpollinated) and senescing (pollinated) corollas, and image analysis was used to determine which proteins were up- or down-regulated by the experimentally determined cut-off of 2.1-fold for P <0.05. One hundred and thirty-three differentially expressed protein spots were selected for sequencing. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to determine the identity of these proteins. Searching translated EST databases and the NCBI non-redundant protein database, it was possible to assign a putative identification to greater than 90% of these proteins. Many of the senescence up-regulated proteins were putatively involved in defence and stress responses or macromolecule catabolism. Some proteins, not previously characterized during flower senescence, were identified, including an orthologue of the tomato abscisic acid stress ripening protein 4 (ASR4). Gene expression patterns did not always correlate with protein expression, confirming that both proteomic and genomic approaches will be required to obtain a detailed understanding of the regulation of petal senescence.

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