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Open Access Research article

Microarray analysis of gene expression profiles in ripening pineapple fruits

Jonni H Koia, Richard L Moyle and Jose R Botella*

Author Affiliations

Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, 4072, Australia

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BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:240  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-240

Published: 18 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical fruit crop of significant commercial importance. Although the physiological changes that occur during pineapple fruit development have been well characterized, little is known about the molecular events that occur during the fruit ripening process. Understanding the molecular basis of pineapple fruit ripening will aid the development of new varieties via molecular breeding or genetic modification. In this study we developed a 9277 element pineapple microarray and used it to profile gene expression changes that occur during pineapple fruit ripening.

Results

Microarray analyses identified 271 unique cDNAs differentially expressed at least 1.5-fold between the mature green and mature yellow stages of pineapple fruit ripening. Among these 271 sequences, 184 share significant homology with genes encoding proteins of known function, 53 share homology with genes encoding proteins of unknown function and 34 share no significant homology with any database accession. Of the 237 pineapple sequences with homologs, 160 were up-regulated and 77 were down-regulated during pineapple fruit ripening. DAVID Functional Annotation Cluster (FAC) analysis of all 237 sequences with homologs revealed confident enrichment scores for redox activity, organic acid metabolism, metalloenzyme activity, glycolysis, vitamin C biosynthesis, antioxidant activity and cysteine peptidase activity, indicating the functional significance and importance of these processes and pathways during pineapple fruit development. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis validated the microarray expression results for nine out of ten genes tested.

Conclusions

This is the first report of a microarray based gene expression study undertaken in pineapple. Our bioinformatic analyses of the transcript profiles have identified a number of genes, processes and pathways with putative involvement in the pineapple fruit ripening process. This study extends our knowledge of the molecular basis of pineapple fruit ripening and non-climacteric fruit ripening in general.

Keywords:
Pineapple; Non-climacteric; Fruit ripening; Microarray