Callose and cellulose synthase gene expression analysis from the tight cluster to the full bloom stage and during early fruit development in Malus x domestica
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Apple (Malus x domestica) is an economically important temperate fruit-bearing crop which belongs to the family of Rosaceae and its pomaceous fruit is one of the most commonly cultivated. Several studies have demonstrated that the cell wall plays a pivotal role during flower and fruit development. It takes active part in pollen tube growth and contributes to determine the fruit firmness trait through the action of cell wall-related enzymes (i.e. polygalacturonase and pectinmethylesterase). We have investigated the expression of callose and cellulose synthase genes during flowering from tight cluster to anthesis and during early fruit development in domesticated apple. We also link the changes observed in gene expression to the profile of soluble non-structural carbohydrates at different developmental stages of flowers/fruitlets and to the qualitative results linked to wall polysaccharides' composition obtained through near-infrared spectroscopy. This work represents an important addition to the study of tree physiology with respect to the analysis of the expression of callose and cellulose synthase genes during flower and early fruit development in domesticated apple.