Transcriptome Analyses of Mosaic (MSC) Mitochondrial Mutants of Cucumber in a Highly Inbred Nuclear Background.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) has a large, paternally transmitted mitochondrial genome. Cucumber plants regenerated from cell cultures occasionally show paternally transmitted mosaic (MSC) phenotypes, characterized by slower growth, chlorotic patterns on the leaves and fruit, lower fertility, and rearrangements in their mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs). MSC lines 3, 12, and 16 originated from different cell cultures all established using the highly inbred, wild-type line B. These MSC lines possess different rearrangements and under-represented regions in their mtDNAs. We completed RNA-seq on normalized and non-normalized cDNA libraries from MSC3, MSC12, and MSC16 to study their nuclear gene-expression profiles relative to inbred B. Results from both libraries indicated that gene expression in MSC12 and MSC16 were more similar to each other than MSC3. Forty-one differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were upregulated and one downregulated in the MSC lines relative to B. Gene functional classifications revealed that more than half of these DEGs are associated with stress-response pathways. Consistent with this observation, we detected elevated levels of hydrogen peroxide throughout leaf tissue in all MSC lines compared to wild-type line B. These results demonstrate that independently produced MSC lines with different mitochondrial polymorphisms show unique and shared nuclear responses. This study revealed genes associated with stress response that could become selection targets to develop cucumber cultivars with increased stress tolerance, and further support of cucumber as a model plant to study nuclear-mitochondrial interactions.
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