Journal Article

Correlation between development of female flower buds and expression of the <i>CS-ACS2</i> gene in cucumber plants

Sayoko Saito, Nobuharu Fujii, Yutaka Miyazawa, Seiji Yamasaki, Seiji Matsuura, Hidemasa Mizusawa, Yukio Fujita and Hideyuki Takahashi

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 11, pages 2897-2907
Published in print August 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online July 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erm141

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Ethylene plays a key role in sex determination of cucumber flowers. Gynoecious cucumber shoots produce more ethylene than monoecious shoots. Because monoecious cucumbers produce both male and female flower buds in the shoot apex and because the relative proportions of male and female flowers vary due to growing conditions, the question arises as to whether the regulation of ethylene biosynthesis in each flower bud determines the sex of the flower. Therefore, the expression of a 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase gene, CS-ACS2, was examined in cucumber flower buds at different stages of development. The results revealed that CS-ACS2 mRNA began to accumulate just beneath the pistil primordia of flower buds at the bisexual stage, but was not detected prior to the formation of the pistil primordia. In buds determined to develop as female flowers, CS-ACS2 mRNA continued to accumulate in the central region of the developing ovary where ovules and placenta form. In gynoecious cucumber plants that produce only female flowers, accumulation of CS-ACS2 mRNA was detected in all flower buds at the bisexual stage and at later developmental stages. In monoecious cucumber, flower buds situated on some nodes accumulated CS-ACS2 mRNA, but others did not. The proportion of male and female flowers in monoecious cucumbers varied depending on the growth conditions, but was correlated with changes in accumulation of CS-ACS2 mRNA in flower buds. These results demonstrate that CS-ACS2-mediated biosynthesis of ethylene in individual flower buds is associated with the differentiation and development of female flowers.

Keywords: ACC synthase; 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC); CS-ACS2; cucumber; Cucumis sativus L.; ethylene; gynoecious; monoecious; sex expression

Journal Article.  6726 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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