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Comparative proteomic analysis of eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) heterostylous pistil development

posted on 06.06.2017 by Yikui Wang, Ake Liu, Wenjia Li, Yaqing Jiang, Shiwei Song, Yan Li, Riyuan Chen

Heterostyly is a common floral polymorphism, but the proteomic basis of this trait is still largely unexplored. In this study, self- and cross-pollination of L-morph and S-morph flowers and comparison of embryo sac development in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) suggested that lower fruit set from S-morph flowers results from stigma-pollen incompatibility. To explore the molecular mechanism underlying heterostyly development, we conducted isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) proteomic analysis of eggplant pistils for L- and S-morph flowers. A total of 5,259 distinct proteins were identified during heterostyly development. Compared S-morph flowers with L-morph, we discovered 57 and 184 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) during flower development and maturity, respectively. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reactions were used for nine genes to verify DEPs from the iTRAQ approach. During flower development, DEPs were mainly involved in morphogenesis, biosynthetic processes, and metabolic pathways. At flower maturity, DEPs primarily participated in biosynthetic processes, metabolic pathways, and the formation of ribosomes and proteasomes. Additionally, some proteins associated with senescence and programmed cell death were found to be upregulated in S-morph pistils, which may lead to the lower fruit set in S-morph flowers. Although the exact roles of these related proteins are not yet known, this was the first attempt to use an iTRAQ approach to analyze proteomes of heterostylous eggplant flowers, and these results will provide insights into biochemical events taking place during the development of heterostyly.