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Keywords:

  • development;
  • fruit;
  • gibberellin (GA);
  • GAMYB;
  • miR159;
  • ripening;
  • strawberry

Summary

  • We have reported previously that the gibberellin (GA) content in strawberry receptacle is high, peaking at specific stages, pointing to a role of this hormone in fruit development. In Arabidopsis, miR159 levels are dependent on GA concentration. This prompted us to investigate the role of two members of the miR159 family and their putative strawberry target gene, GAMYB, in relation to changes in GA content during the course of fruit development.
  • The highest expression level of the two Fa-MIR159 genes was in the fruit’s receptacle tissue, with dramatic changes observed throughout development. The lowest levels of total mature miR159 (a and b) were observed during the white stage of receptacle development, which was concurrent with the highest expression of Fa-GAMYB. A functional interaction between miR159 and Fa-GAMYB has been demonstrated in receptacle tissue.
  • The application of bioactive GA (i.e. GA3) to strawberry plants caused the down-regulated expression of Fa-MIR159a, but the expression of Fa-MIR159b was not affected significantly. Clear discrepancies between Fa-MIR159b and mature Fa-miR159b levels were indicative of post-transcriptional regulation of Fa-MIR159b gene expression.
  • We propose that Fa-miR159a and Fa-miR159b interact with Fa-GAMYB during the course of strawberry receptacle development, and that they act in a cooperative fashion to respond, in part, to changes in GA endogenous levels.