Research Article

Bioinformatic and expression analysis of the OMT gene family in Pyrus bretschneideri cv. Dangshan Su

Published: September 02, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8664 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038664

Abstract

With high nutritional value in its fruits, Dangshan Su pear has been widely cultivated in China. The stone cell content in fruits is a key factor affecting fruit quality in pear, and the formation of stone cells has been associated with lignin biosynthesis. O-Methyltransferase (OMT) is a key enzyme involved in lignin metabolism within the phenylpropanoid pathway. Here, we screened 26 OMT genes from the Pyrus bretschneideri cv. Dangshan Su genome using the DNATOOLs software. To characterize the OMT gene family in pear, gene structure, chromosomal localization, and conserved motifs of PbOMTs were analyzed. PbOMTs were divided into two categories, type I (designated PbCCOMTs) and type II (designated PbCOMTs), indicating the differentiation of function during evolution. Based on the analysis of multiple sequence alignment, cis-element prediction, and phylogenetic relationships, two candidate genes, PbCCOMT1 and PbCCOMT3, were selected for the analysis of temporal and spatial gene expression in pear. The promoter regions of both PbCCOMT1 and PbCCOMT3 contain regulatory motifs for lignin synthesis. Moreover, the two genes show high similarity and close phylogenetic relationships with CCOMTs in other species. Expression analysis showed that transcript levels of two PbCCOMTs were positively associated with the contents of both stone cells and lignin during the development of pear fruit. These results suggest that PbCCOMT1 and PbCCOMT3 are closely associated with lignin biosynthesis. These findings will help clarify the function of PbOMTs in lignin metabolism and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying stone cell formation in pear.

With high nutritional value in its fruits, Dangshan Su pear has been widely cultivated in China. The stone cell content in fruits is a key factor affecting fruit quality in pear, and the formation of stone cells has been associated with lignin biosynthesis. O-Methyltransferase (OMT) is a key enzyme involved in lignin metabolism within the phenylpropanoid pathway. Here, we screened 26 OMT genes from the Pyrus bretschneideri cv. Dangshan Su genome using the DNATOOLs software. To characterize the OMT gene family in pear, gene structure, chromosomal localization, and conserved motifs of PbOMTs were analyzed. PbOMTs were divided into two categories, type I (designated PbCCOMTs) and type II (designated PbCOMTs), indicating the differentiation of function during evolution. Based on the analysis of multiple sequence alignment, cis-element prediction, and phylogenetic relationships, two candidate genes, PbCCOMT1 and PbCCOMT3, were selected for the analysis of temporal and spatial gene expression in pear. The promoter regions of both PbCCOMT1 and PbCCOMT3 contain regulatory motifs for lignin synthesis. Moreover, the two genes show high similarity and close phylogenetic relationships with CCOMTs in other species. Expression analysis showed that transcript levels of two PbCCOMTs were positively associated with the contents of both stone cells and lignin during the development of pear fruit. These results suggest that PbCCOMT1 and PbCCOMT3 are closely associated with lignin biosynthesis. These findings will help clarify the function of PbOMTs in lignin metabolism and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying stone cell formation in pear.