Tree Genetics & Genomes

, 15:19 | Cite as

A transcriptional analysis reveals an extensive range of genes responsible for increasing the tolerance of Carrizo citrange to oxygen deficiency

  • Concetta LicciardelloEmail author
  • Paola Tononi
  • Marzia Rossato
  • Massimo Delledonne
  • Paola Caruso
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Gene Expression


Little information is available on the Citrus genus and its relatives with regard to their ability to tolerate oxygen deficiency, establishing physiological and structural modifications. In order to gain insight into how citrus rootstocks respond to low-oxygen stress, a transcriptomic analysis (using a custom microarray) was performed on Carrizo citrange (CC) seedlings. These seedlings were transformed with OsMybleu transcription factor (TF), known for inducing tolerance to oxygen deficiency, and compared with CC wildtype. They were flushed for 24 h with N2 and microarray, carrying out expressed sequence tags of Citrus and relatives isolated from the roots, was hybridized with RNA of roots before and after hypoxia treatment. The genes involved in fermentation, Krebs cycle, sugar metabolism, cell wall metabolism, hormones, and TFs all resulted significantly altered in response to hypoxia in both samples. Quantitative expression analysis was performed on 42 selected genes to validate microarray results. The outcome was that most of them were confirmed. The main results lead to the conclusion that CC is naturally tolerant to oxygen limitation. Transformed CC responded to hypoxia by activating the main genes which are known in other plants to be responsible for this type of tolerance such as pyruvate decarboxylase and alcohol dehydrogenase. Among TFs, several were also induced, such as an HDZipIII homologous to AtHB15, target of mir166, itself overexpressed exclusively in transformed CC under hypoxia compared with all other samples. The present manuscript represents one of the very few investigative works focused on hypoxia-responsive transcriptional networks in citrus.


Citrus Hypoxia Expression analysis miRNA Transcription factors 



The authors would like to thank Giuseppina Las Casas for assisting in the final analysis of the qRT-PCR.

Author contribution statement

CL wrote the article, performed the array hybridization and qRT-PCR validation, PT and MZ analyzed array data, MD supported in the array data, and PC provided research idea and contributed in the writing of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Data archiving statement

Microarray expression data are available at NCBI GEO database (Edgar et al. 2002) with GEO number GSE86208.

Supplementary material

11295_2019_1327_MOESM1_ESM.docx (113 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 113 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CREA, Research Centre for Olive, Citrus and Tree FruitAcirealeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di BiotecnologieUniversità degli Studi di VeronaVeronaItaly

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