Ripening of Pomegranate Skin as Revealed by Developmental Transcriptomics.Cells. 2022 07 16; 11(14)C
The appearance of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit is highly important for its marketing. The primary concerns are obtaining sufficient red pigment accumulation and minimal cracking of the fruit skin (the outer red layer of the peel). We analyzed the skin transcriptome of pomegranate cv. Wonderful at distinct time points of fruit development to characterize the processes that occur in the skin during fruit ripening and which may reflect on processes in the whole fruit, such as the non-climacteric nature of pomegranate. The data suggested a ripening mechanism in pomegranate skin that differs from that in strawberry-the model plant for non-climacteric fruit where abscisic acid is the growth regulator that drives ripening-involving ethylene, polyamine, and jasmonic acid pathways. The biosynthetic pathways of important metabolites in pomegranate-hydrolyzable tannins and anthocyanins-were co-upregulated at the ripening stage, in line with the visual enhancement of red coloration. Interestingly, cuticle- and cell-wall-related genes that showed differential expression between the developmental stages were mainly upregulated in the skin of early fruit, with lower expression at mid-growth and ripening stages. Nevertheless, lignification may be involved in skin hardening in the mature fruit.