Cloning and characterisation of a putative pollen-specific polygalacturonase gene (CpPG1) differentially regulated during pollen development in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.)

Authors

  • F. Carvajal,

    1. Departamento de Fisiología Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. Garrido,

    1. Departamento de Fisiología Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. Jamilena,

    1. Departamento de Biología Aplicada, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. Rosales

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Caracterización, Calidad y Seguridad. Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN-CSIC), Madrid, Spain
    • Correspondence

      R. Rosales, Departamento de Caracterización, Calidad y Seguridad. Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos y Nutrición (ICTAN-CSIC), Jose Antonio Novais 10, Ciudad Universitaria, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.

      E-mail: raquel.rosales@ictan.csic.es

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Studies in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L. spp. pepo) pollen have been limited to the viability and morphology of the mature pollen grain. The enzyme polygalacturonase (PG) is involved in pollen development and pollination in many species. In this work, we study anther and pollen development of C. pepo and present the cloning and characterisation of a putative PG CpPG1 (Accession no. HQ232488) from pollen cDNA in C. pepo. The predicted protein for CpPG1 has 416 amino acids, with a high homology to other pollen PGs, such as P22 from Oenothera organensis (76%) and PGA3 from Arabidopsis thaliana (73%). CpPG1 belongs to clade C, which comprises PGs expressed in pollen, and presents a 34 amino acid signal peptide for secretion towards the cell wall. DNA-blot analysis revealed that there are at least another two genes that code for PGs in C. pepo. The spatial and temporal accumulation of CpPG1 was studied by semi-quantitative- and qRT-PCR. In addition, mRNA was detected only in anthers, pollen and the rudimentary anthers of bisexual flowers (only present in some zucchini cultivars under certain environmental conditions that trigger anther development in the third whorl of female flowers). However, no expression was detected in cotyledons, stem or fruit. Furthermore, CpPG1 mRNA was accumulated throughout anther development, with the highest expression found in mature pollen. Similarly, exo-PG activity increased from immature anther stages to mature anthers and mature pollen. Overall, these data support the pollen specificity of this gene and suggest an involvement of CpPG1 in pollen development in C. pepo.

Ancillary