Transcriptome profiling reveals roles of meristem regulators and polarity genes during fruit trichome development in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.).J Exp Bot. 2014 Sep; 65(17):4943-58.JE
Trichomes are epidermal hair-like structures that function in plant defence against biotic and abiotic stresses. Extensive studies have been performed on foliar trichomes development in Arabidopsis and tomato, but the molecular mechanism of fruit trichome formation remains elusive. Cucumber fruit is covered with trichomes (spines) that directly affect the appearance and quality of cucumber products. Here, we characterized the fruit spine development in wild-type (WT) cucumber and a spontaneous mutant, tiny branched hair (tbh). Our data showed that the cucumber trichome was multicellular and non-glandular, with malformed organelles and no endoreduplication. Fruit spine development was generally homogenous and marked by a rapid base expansion stage. Trichomes in the tbh mutant were tiny and branched, with increased density and aberrant cell shape. Transcriptome profiling indicated that meristem-related genes were highly enriched in the upregulated genes in the tbh versus the WT, as well as in WT spines after versus before base expansion, and that polarity regulators were greatly induced during spine base expansion. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR and in situ hybridization confirmed the differential expression of CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON3 (CUC3) and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) during spine development. Therefore, cucumber trichomes are morphologically different from those of Arabidopsis and tomato, and their development may be regulated by a distinct pathway involving meristem genes and polarity regulators.