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Article|01 Feb 2020|OPEN
A universal pipeline for mobile mRNA detection and insights into heterografting advantages under chilling stress
Ying Wang1, Lingping Wang1, Nailin Xing2, Xiaohua Wu1, Xinyi Wu1, Baogen Wang1, Zhongfu Lu1, Pei Xu1,3,4,, Ye Tao5, Guojing Li1,3 & Yuhong Wang2,
1Institute of Vegetables, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
2Institute of Vegetables, Ningbo Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Ningbo 315040, China
3State Key Laboratory for Quality and Safety of Agroproducts, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
4Present address: College of Life Sciences, China Jiliang University, Hangzhou 310018, China
5Biozeron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Shanghai 201800, China

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 20013 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.13
Views: 340

Received: 27 Aug 2019
Revised: 08 Nov 2019
Accepted: 05 Dec 2019
Published online: 01 Feb 2020

Abstract

Heterografting has long been used to enhance the chilling tolerance of temperature-sensitive crops, including watermelon, whose mechanism is known to involve bidirectional long-distance mRNA movements. Despite several studies reporting on mobile mRNA (mb-mRNA) profiles in plants, accurate identification of mb-mRNAs is challenging owing to an array of technical problems. Here, we developed a bioinformatical pipeline that took most of the known technical concerns into consideration and is considered to be a universal tool for mb-mRNA detection in heterografts. By applying this pipeline to a commercial watermelon–bottle gourd heterografting system, we detected 130 and 1144 mb-mRNAs upwardly and 167 and 1051 mb-mRNAs downwardly transmitted under normal and chilling-stress conditions, respectively. Quantitative real-time PCR indicated a high accuracy rate (88.2%) of mb-mRNA prediction with our pipeline. We further revealed that the mobility of mRNAs was not associated with their abundance. Functional annotation and classification implied that scions may convey the stress signal to the rootstock, subsequently triggering energy metabolism reprogramming and abscisic acid-mediated stress responses by upward movement of effective mRNAs, ultimately leading to enhanced chilling tolerance. This study provides a universal tool for mb-mRNA detection in plant heterografting systems and novel insights into heterografting advantages under chilling stress.