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Overexpression of apple Ma12, a mitochondrial pyrophosphatase pump gene, leads to malic acid accumulation and the upregulation of malate dehydrogenase in tomato and apple calli
Horticulture Research  (IF6.793),  Pub Date : 2022-01-19, DOI: 10.1093/hr/uhab053
Gao M, Zhao H, Zheng L, et al.

Abstract
Acidity is an important factor influencing the organoleptic quality of apple fruits. In this study, an apple pyrophosphate-energized proton pump (PEPP) gene was isolated and designated MdMa12. On the basis of a phylogenetic analysis in Rosaceae species, PEPP genes were divided into three groups, with apple PEPP genes most closely related to pear PEPP genes. Gene expression analysis revealed that high malic acid content was generally accompanied by high MdMa12 expression levels. Moreover, MdMa12 was mainly expressed in the fruit. A subcellular localization analysis suggested that MdMa12 is a mitochondrial protein. The ectopic expression and overexpression of MdMa12 in “Micro-Tom” tomato and apple calli, respectively, increased the malic acid content. One (MDH12) of four malate dehydrogenase genes highly expressed in transgenic apple calli was confirmed to encode a protein localized in mitochondria. The overexpression of MDH12 increased the malate content in apple calli. Furthermore, MdMa12 overexpression increased MdDTC1, MdMa1, and MdMa10 expression levels, which were identified to transport malate. These findings imply that MdMa12 has important functions related to apple fruit acidity. Our study explored the regulatory effects of mitochondria on the complex mechanism underlying apple fruit acidity.