Fruit production directly depends on flowering success, which in turn depends on climate conditions. Perennial plants, such as temperate fruit trees, have the ability to induce and release/break dormancy, which means suspending and resuming growth periodically in response to changing environmental and seasonal conditions. The break of endodormancy (also called winter dormancy) demands the long-term accumulation of low temperatures, recorded as chill requirements (CR), followed by the accumulation of high temperatures (heat requirements) to restore the ability to grow. In other words, only when chill + heat requirements have been fulfilled will flowering take place, by the initiation of an extensive reprogramming of transcriptional and metabolic pathways. [...]
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Mutation of a bHLH transcription factor allowed almond domestication
Publication date: 14-06-2019
Authors: Sánchez-Pérez R*, Pavan S, Mazzeo R, Moldovan C, Aiese R, Del Cueto J, Ricciardi F, Lotti C, Ricciardi L, Dicenta F, López-Marqués R, Møller BL
Wild almond species accumulate the bitter and toxic cyanogenic diglucoside amygdalin. Almond domestication was enabled by the selection of genotypes harboring sweet kernels. We report the completion of the almond reference genome. Map-based cloning using an F1 population segregating for kernel taste led to the identification of a 46-kilobase gene cluster encoding five basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, bHLH1 to bHLH5. Functional characterization demonstrated that bHLH2 controls transcription of the P450 monooxygenase–encoding genes PdCYP79D16 and PdCYP71AN24, which are involved in the amygdalin biosynthetic pathway. A nonsynonymous point mutation (Leu to Phe) in the dimerization domain of bHLH2 prevents transcription of the two cytochrome P450 genes, resulting in the sweet kernel trait.
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