An RNA fingerprinting study of strawberry receptacle and achene tissue was performed to identify candidate genes involved in fruit ripening. Quantitative cDNA-AFLP was used to detect differential gene expression in green, white, pink and red stages of fruit ripening. Based on hierarchical average linkage clustering the differentially expressed...genes formed three major groups, genes expressed only in green receptacle, genes expressed mainly in white, pink and red receptacle, and in achene. 130 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were isolated and sequenced. Most TDFs did not show any homology to sequences with known functions, others were homologous to genes involved in oxidative stress response, signal transduction, regulation of development and cell-wall metabolism. Novel genes, so far not associated with strawberry ripening and ripening in general, were identified, such as genes encoding a bHLH protein, putative nitrilase-related protein, putative HD-zip protein. The differential pattern of gene expression draws the attention to the significance of ripening induced-or repressed promoters in strawberry fruit, whose isolation and characterization can be useful tool for functional genomics. For this purpose nine cDNA-AFLP fragments related either to ontogeny or senescing were completed with 5'UTR aiming at more precise annotation and future promoter isolation. Although tens of potentially important transcriptome changes were identified, the function of many ripening induced genes remain unknown.
In the recent studies two Foeniculum vulgare Mill. populations (Hungarian and Korean) had been studied in open field trials in 1997-98 in Budapest for the identification of their essential oil characteristics. The essential oil accumulation level as well as the composition of the oil were studied during ontogenesis and at 6 phases of the umbel...development from budding to overripening.
In the vegetative phases, the accumulation level of the essential oil was higher in the Hungarian genotype. In the leaf rosette stage, anethole is the main compound in both genotypes (40-96%), except the root of the Korean populations which contains 54% dillapiol. The accumulation level of anethole is slightly decreasing, while dillapiol is slightly increasing during the ontogeny. a- and [3-pinenes are characteristic compounds of the leaves, especially in the Korean genotype (10-11%). Before seed setting, fenchone was present in a considerable amount (7.5%) only in the umbels of the Hungarian genotype.
During the generative development, the maximum values of essential oil content are reached at the milky fruit stage (10,11%) in the Hungarian. and at the green fruit stage (7.1% ) in the Korean type, while the composition of the essential oil changed only slightly. The ratio of fenchone is increasing after flowering and being stable during ripening. Anethole varies to a smaller extent in the umbels, only.
We proved, that the dinamics of essential oil accumulation and the oil composition may vary according to genotype. Based on our results, the Korean population is characterized in the system of Bernáth et al. (2) as a high anethol-low methyl chavicol chemoform of the anethol chemovariety (fenchone<15%; anethole>68%; methyl chavicol< 3,2%).