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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Transcriptome analysis of various flower and silique development stages indicates a set of class III peroxidase genes potentially involved in pod shattering in Arabidopsis thaliana

Claudia Cosio1* and Christophe Dunand2

Author affiliations

1 Institut Forel, University of Geneva, 10 route de Suisse, CP416, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland

2 SCSV-UMR5546 CNRS/UPS, 24 Chemin de Borderouge, BP 42617, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2010, 11:528  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-528

Published: 29 September 2010

Abstract

Background

Plant class III peroxidases exist as a large multigenic family involved in numerous functions suggesting a functional specialization of each gene. However, few genes have been linked with a specific function. Consequently total peroxidase activity is still used in numerous studies although its relevance is questionable. Transcriptome analysis seems to be a promising tool to overcome the difficulties associated with the study of this family. Nevertheless available microarrays are not completely reliable for this purpose. We therefore used a macroarray dedicated to the 73 class III peroxidase genes of A. thaliana to identify genes potentially involved in flower and fruit development.

Results

The observed increase of total peroxidase activity during development was actually correlated with the induction of only a few class III peroxidase genes which supports the existence of a functional specialization of these proteins. We identified peroxidase genes that are predominantly expressed in one development stage and are probable components of the complex gene networks involved in the reproductive phase. An attempt has been made to gain insight into plausible functions of these genes by collecting and analyzing the expression data of different studies in plants. Peroxidase activity was additionally observed in situ in the silique dehiscence zone known to be involved in pod shattering. Because treatment with a peroxidase inhibitor delayed pod shattering, we subsequently studied mutants of transcription factors (TF) controlling this mechanism. Three peroxidases genes -AtPrx13, AtPrx30 and AtPrx55- were altered by the TFs involved in pod shatter.

Conclusions

Our data illustrated the problems caused by linking only an increase in total peroxidase activity to any specific development stage or function. The activity or involvement of specific class III peroxidase genes needs to be assessed. Several genes identified in our study had not been linked to any particular development stage or function until now. Notably AtPrx13, which is one of the peroxidase genes not present on commercially available microarrays. A systematic survey of class III peroxidase genes expression is necessary to reveal specific class III peroxidase gene functions and the regulation and evolution of this key multifunctional enzyme family. The approach used in this study highlights key individual genes that merit further investigation.