Identification of Nitric Oxide Responsive Genes in the Rudimentary Leaves of Litchi chinensis

Xingyu LU, Houbin CHEN, Zhiqun HU, Biyan ZHOU


Litchi (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) is an evergreen woody fruit tree widely cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions. Warm winter and hot spring often leads to abnormal floral differentiation in litchi. Under this condition, the rudimentary leaves in the floral buds expand and the inflorescences will stop developing. Thus, how to promote abortion of rudimentary leaves in litchi inflorescence are important for floral development. Previous study indicated that nitric oxide (NO) produced by sodium nitroprusside (SNP) promoted flowering and abortion of rudimentary leaves in litchi. In the present study, a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to identify NO responsive genes. As a result, 16 high homologous ESTs were obtained from the SSH library of the SNP treated rudimentary leaves. The ESTs were classified into three groups. They are disease/defensive, protein destination and storage, and protein synthesis. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that 6 out of the 7 randomly selected ESTs’expression showed an increasing trend from 0 h to 10 h of SNP treatment. It is suggested that the litchi homologs 18S ribosomal RNA gene, cytochrome P450 like TBP, and the senescence-associated protein, chaperone protein, and a hypothetical protein encoding genes may be involved in the NO-induced senescence in litchi rudimentary leaves. LcERD15-like may be a key gene involved in this process.


abortion; nitric oxide; rudimentary leaves; suppression subtractive hybridization

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