Identification of phloem-associated translatome alterations during leaf development in Prunus domestica L

Hortic Res. 2019 Feb 1;6:16. doi: 10.1038/s41438-018-0092-4. eCollection 2019.


Phloem plays a fundamental role in plants by transporting hormones, nutrients, proteins, RNAs, and carbohydrates essential for plant growth and development. However, the identity of the underlying phloem genes and pathways remain enigmatic especially in agriculturally important perennial crops, in part, due to the technical difficulty of phloem sampling. Here, we used two phloem-specific promoters and a translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) strategy to characterize the phloem translatome during leaf development at 2, 4, and 6 weeks post vernalization in plum (Prunus domestica L.). Results provide insight into the changing phloem processes that occur during leaf development. These processes included the early activation of DNA replication genes that are likely involved in phloem cell division during leaf expansion, as well as the upregulation of phloem genes associated with sink to source conversion, induction of defense processes, and signaling for reproduction. Combined these results reveal the dynamics of phloem gene expression during leaf development and establish the TRAP system as a powerful tool for studying phloem-specific functions and responses in trees.