Transcriptomic profiling of citrus fruit peel tissues reveals fundamental effects of phenylpropanoids and ethylene on induced resistance

A.R. Ballester Frutos, M.T. Lafuente, J. Forment, J. Gadea, C.H.R. de Vos, A.G. Bovy, L. Gonzalez-Candelas

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59 Citations (Scopus)


Penicillium spp. are the major postharvest pathogens of citrus fruit in Mediterranean climatic regions. The induction of natural resistance constitutes one of the most promising alternatives to avoid the environmental contamination and health problems caused by chemical fungicides. To understand the bases of the induction of resistance in citrus fruit against Penicillium digitatum, we have used a 12k citrus cDNA microarray to study transcriptional changes in the outer and inner parts of the peel (flavedo and albedo, respectively) of elicited fruits. The elicitor treatment led to an over-representation of biological processes associated with secondary metabolism, mainly phenylpropanoids and cellular amino acid biosynthesis and methionine metabolism, and the down-regulation of genes related to biotic and abiotic stresses. Among phenylpropanoids, we detected the over-expression of a large subset of genes important for the synthesis of flavonoids, coumarins and lignin, especially in the internal tissue. Furthermore, these genes and those of ethylene biosynthesis showed the highest induction. The involvement of both phenylpropanoid and ethylene pathways was confirmed by examining changes in gene expression and ethylene production in elicited citrus fruit. Therefore, global results indicate that secondary metabolism, mainly phenylpropanoids, and ethylene play important roles in the induction of resistance in citrus fruit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-897
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • penicillium-digitatum sacc
  • phenylalanine ammonia-lyase
  • plant defense responses
  • microarray data
  • acquired-resistance
  • decay resistance
  • gene-expression
  • uv-irradiation
  • infection
  • grapefruit


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