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1.  Olive phenolic compounds: metabolic and transcriptional profiling during fruit development 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:162.
Olive (Olea europaea L.) fruits contain numerous secondary metabolites, primarily phenolics, terpenes and sterols, some of which are particularly interesting for their nutraceutical properties. This study will attempt to provide further insight into the profile of olive phenolic compounds during fruit development and to identify the major genetic determinants of phenolic metabolism.
The concentration of the major phenolic compounds, such as oleuropein, demethyloleuropein, 3–4 DHPEA-EDA, ligstroside, tyrosol, hydroxytyrosol, verbascoside and lignans, were measured in the developing fruits of 12 olive cultivars. The content of these compounds varied significantly among the cultivars and decreased during fruit development and maturation, with some compounds showing specificity for certain cultivars. Thirty-five olive transcripts homologous to genes involved in the pathways of the main secondary metabolites were identified from the massive sequencing data of the olive fruit transcriptome or from cDNA-AFLP analysis. Their mRNA levels were determined using RT-qPCR analysis on fruits of high- and low-phenolic varieties (Coratina and Dolce d’Andria, respectively) during three different fruit developmental stages. A strong correlation was observed between phenolic compound concentrations and transcripts putatively involved in their biosynthesis, suggesting a transcriptional regulation of the corresponding pathways. OeDXS, OeGES, OeGE10H and OeADH, encoding putative 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-P synthase, geraniol synthase, geraniol 10-hydroxylase and arogenate dehydrogenase, respectively, were almost exclusively present at 45 days after flowering (DAF), suggesting that these compounds might play a key role in regulating secoiridoid accumulation during fruit development.
Metabolic and transcriptional profiling led to the identification of some major players putatively involved in biosynthesis of secondary compounds in the olive tree. Our data represent the first step towards the functional characterisation of important genes for the determination of olive fruit quality.
PMCID: PMC3480905  PMID: 22963618
Olea europaea; Phenolics; Secoiridoids; RT-qPCR; Transcriptome; Secondary metabolism
2.  Effects of Kaolin Application on Light Absorption and Distribution, Radiation Use Efficiency and Photosynthesis of Almond and Walnut Canopies 
Annals of Botany  2006;99(2):255-263.
Background and Aims
Kaolin applied as a suspension to plant canopies forms a film on leaves that increases reflection and reduces absorption of light. Photosynthesis of individual leaves is decreased while the photosynthesis of the whole canopy remains unaffected or even increases. This may result from a better distribution of light within the canopy following kaolin application, but this explanation has not been tested. The objective of this work was to study the effects of kaolin application on light distribution and absorption within tree canopies and, ultimately, on canopy photosynthesis and radiation use efficiency.
Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) incident on individual leaves within the canopy of almond (Prunus dulcis) and walnut (Juglans regia) trees was measured before and after kaolin application in order to study PAR distribution within the canopy. The PAR incident on, and reflected and transmitted by, the canopy was measured on the same day for kaolin-sprayed and control trees in order to calculate canopy PAR absorption. These data were then used to model canopy photosynthesis and radiation use efficiency by a simple method proposed in previous work, based on the photosynthetic response to incident PAR of a top-canopy leaf.
Key Results
Kaolin increased incident PAR on surfaces of inner-canopy leaves, although there was an estimated 20 % loss in PAR reaching the photosynthetic apparatus, due to increased reflection. Assuming a 20 % loss of PAR, modelled photosynthesis and photosynthetic radiation use efficiency (PRUE) of kaolin-coated leaves decreased by only 6·3 %. This was due to (1) more beneficial PAR distribution within the kaolin-sprayed canopy, and (2) with decreasing PAR, leaf photosynthesis decreases less than proportionally, due to the curvature of the photosynthesis response-curve to PAR. The relatively small loss in canopy PRUE (per unit of incident PAR), coupled with the increased incident PAR on the leaf surface on inner-canopy leaves, resulted in an estimated increase in modelled photosynthesis of the canopy (+9 % in both walnut and almond). The small loss in PRUE (per unit of incident PAR) resulted in an increase in radiation use efficiency per unit of absorbed PAR, which more than compensated for the minor (7 %) reduction in canopy PAR absorption.
The results explain the apparently contradictory findings in the literature of positive or no effects of kaolin applications on canopy photosynthesis and yield, despite the decrease in photosynthesis by individual leaves when measured at the same PAR.
PMCID: PMC2802992  PMID: 17138580
Juglans regia; kaolin particle film; modelling; photosynthesis; Prunus dulcis; radiation use efficiency

Results 1-2 (2)