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author:("als, enrique")
1.  Unravelling the proteomic profile of rice meiocytes during early meiosis 
Transfer of genetic traits from wild or related species into cultivated rice is nowadays an important aim in rice breeding. Breeders use genetic crosses to introduce desirable genes from exotic germplasms into cultivated rice varieties. However, in many hybrids there is only a low level of pairing (if existing) and recombination at early meiosis between cultivated rice and wild relative chromosomes. With the objective of getting deeper into the knowledge of the proteins involved in early meiosis, when chromosomes associate correctly in pairs and recombine, the proteome of isolated rice meiocytes has been characterized by nLC-MS/MS at every stage of early meiosis (prophase I). Up to 1316 different proteins have been identified in rice isolated meiocytes in early meiosis, being 422 exclusively identified in early prophase I (leptotene, zygotene, or pachytene). The classification of proteins in functional groups showed that 167 were related to chromatin structure and remodeling, nucleic acid binding, cell-cycle regulation, and cytoskeleton. Moreover, the putative roles of 16 proteins which have not been previously associated to meiosis or were not identified in rice before, are also discussed namely: seven proteins involved in chromosome structure and remodeling, five regulatory proteins [such as SKP1 (OSK), a putative CDK2 like effector], a protein with RNA recognition motifs, a neddylation-related protein, and two microtubule-related proteins. Revealing the proteins involved in early meiotic processes could provide a valuable tool kit to manipulate chromosome associations during meiosis in rice breeding programs. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with the PXD001058 identifier.
PMCID: PMC4109522  PMID: 25104955
prophase I; chromosome recognition; chromosome pairing; meiocytes proteome; SKP1 proteins; cytoskeleton; MS/MS
2.  A novel carotenoid cleavage activity involved in the biosynthesis of Citrus fruit-specific apocarotenoid pigments 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(14):4461-4478.
Citrus is the first tree crop in terms of fruit production. The colour of Citrus fruit is one of the main quality attributes, caused by the accumulation of carotenoids and their derivative C30 apocarotenoids, mainly β-citraurin (3-hydroxy-β-apo-8′-carotenal), which provide an attractive orange-reddish tint to the peel of oranges and mandarins. Though carotenoid biosynthesis and its regulation have been extensively studied in Citrus fruits, little is known about the formation of C30 apocarotenoids. The aim of this study was to the identify carotenoid cleavage enzyme(s) [CCD(s)] involved in the peel-specific C30 apocarotenoids. In silico data mining revealed a new family of five CCD4-type genes in Citrus. One gene of this family, CCD4b1, was expressed in reproductive and vegetative tissues of different Citrus species in a pattern correlating with the accumulation of C30 apocarotenoids. Moreover, developmental processes and treatments which alter Citrus fruit peel pigmentation led to changes of β-citraurin content and CCD4b1 transcript levels. These results point to the involvement of CCD4b1 in β-citraurin formation and indicate that the accumulation of this compound is determined by the availability of the presumed precursors zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin. Functional analysis of CCD4b1 by in vitro assays unequivocally demonstrated the asymmetric cleavage activity at the 7′,8′ double bond in zeaxanthin and β-cryptoxanthin, confirming its role in C30 apocarotenoid biosynthesis. Thus, a novel plant carotenoid cleavage activity targeting the 7′,8′ double bond of cyclic C40 carotenoids has been identified. These results suggest that the presented enzyme is responsible for the biosynthesis of C30 apocarotenoids in Citrus which are key pigments in fruit coloration.
PMCID: PMC3808326  PMID: 24006419
Apocarotenoid; carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase; carotenoid; β-citraurin; Citrus; fruit coloration.
3.  Identification of a GCC transcription factor responding to fruit colour change events in citrus through the transcriptomic analyses of two mutants 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:276.
External ripening in Citrus fruits is morphologically characterized by a colour shift from green to orange due to the degradation of chlorophylls and the accumulation of carotenoid pigments. Although numerous genes coding for enzymes involved in such biochemical pathways have been identified, the molecular control of this process has been scarcely studied. In this work we used the Citrus clementina mutants 39B3 and 39E7, showing delayed colour break, to isolate genes potentially related to the regulation of peel ripening and its physiological or biochemical effects.
Pigment analyses revealed different profiles of carotenoid and chlorophyll modification in 39B3 and 39E7 mutants. Flavedo from 39B3 fruits showed an overall delay in carotenoid accumulation and chlorophyll degradation, while the flavedo of 39E7 was devoid of the apocarotenoid β-citraurin among other carotenoid alterations. A Citrus microarray containing about 20,000 cDNA fragments was used to identify genes that were differentially expressed during colour change in the flavedo of 39B3 and 39E7 mutants respect to the parental variety. The results highlighted 73 and 90 genes that were respectively up- and down-regulated in both mutants. CcGCC1 gene, coding for a GCC type transcriptional factor, was found to be down-regulated. CcGCC1 expression was strongly induced at the onset of colour change in the flavedo of parental clementine fruit. Moreover, treatment of fruits with gibberellins, a retardant of external ripening, delayed both colour break and CcGCC1 overexpression.
In this work, the citrus fruit ripening mutants 39B3 and 39E7 have been characterized at the phenotypic, biochemical and transcriptomic level. A defective synthesis of the apocarotenoid β-citraurin has been proposed to cause the yellowish colour of fully ripe 39E7 flavedo. The analyses of the mutant transcriptomes revealed that colour change during peel ripening was strongly associated with a major mobilization of mineral elements and with other previously known metabolic and photosynthetic changes. The expression of CcGCC1 was associated with peel ripening since CcGCC1 down-regulation correlated with a delay in colour break induced by genetic, developmental and hormonal causes.
PMCID: PMC3014968  PMID: 21159189
4.  Analysis of 13000 unique Citrus clusters associated with fruit quality, production and salinity tolerance 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:31.
Improvement of Citrus, the most economically important fruit crop in the world, is extremely slow and inherently costly because of the long-term nature of tree breeding and an unusual combination of reproductive characteristics. Aside from disease resistance, major commercial traits in Citrus are improved fruit quality, higher yield and tolerance to environmental stresses, especially salinity.
A normalized full length and 9 standard cDNA libraries were generated, representing particular treatments and tissues from selected varieties (Citrus clementina and C. sinensis) and rootstocks (C. reshni, and C. sinenis × Poncirus trifoliata) differing in fruit quality, resistance to abscission, and tolerance to salinity. The goal of this work was to provide a large expressed sequence tag (EST) collection enriched with transcripts related to these well appreciated agronomical traits. Towards this end, more than 54000 ESTs derived from these libraries were analyzed and annotated. Assembly of 52626 useful sequences generated 15664 putative transcription units distributed in 7120 contigs, and 8544 singletons. BLAST annotation produced significant hits for more than 80% of the hypothetical transcription units and suggested that 647 of these might be Citrus specific unigenes. The unigene set, composed of ~13000 putative different transcripts, including more than 5000 novel Citrus genes, was assigned with putative functions based on similarity, GO annotations and protein domains
Comparative genomics with Arabidopsis revealed the presence of putative conserved orthologs and single copy genes in Citrus and also the occurrence of both gene duplication events and increased number of genes for specific pathways. In addition, phylogenetic analysis performed on the ammonium transporter family and glycosyl transferase family 20 suggested the existence of Citrus paralogs. Analysis of the Citrus gene space showed that the most important metabolic pathways known to affect fruit quality were represented in the unigene set. Overall, the similarity analyses indicated that the sequences of the genes belonging to these varieties and rootstocks were essentially identical, suggesting that the differential behaviour of these species cannot be attributed to major sequence divergences. This Citrus EST assembly contributes both crucial information to discover genes of agronomical interest and tools for genetic and genomic analyses, such as the development of new markers and microarrays.
PMCID: PMC1796867  PMID: 17254327

Results 1-4 (4)