Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 727–739 | Cite as

The superoxide dismutase genes might be required for appropriate development of the ovule after fertilization in Xanthoceras sorbifolium

  • Qingyuan ZhouEmail author
  • Qing Cai
Original Article


Key message

Superoxide dismutase genes were expressed differentially along with developmental stages of fertilized ovules in Xanthoceras sorbifolium, and the XsMSD gene silencing resulted in the arrest of fertilized ovule development.


A very small percentage of mature fruits (ca. 5%) are produced relative to the number of bisexual flowers in Xanthoceras sorbifolium because seeds and fruits are aborted at early stages of development after pollination. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plants are implicated in an extensive range of biological processes, such as programmed cell death and senescence. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity might be required to regulate ROS homeostasis in the fertilized ovules of X. sorbifolium. The present study identified five SOD genes and one SOD copper chaperone gene in the tree. Their transcripts were differentially expressed along different stages of fertilized ovule development. These genes showed maximum expression in the ovules at 3 days after pollination (DAP), a time point in which free nuclear endosperm and nucleus tissues rapidly develop. The XsCSD1, XsFSD1 and XsMSD contained seven, eight, and five introns, respectively. Analysis of the 5′-flanking region of XsFSD1 and XsMSD revealed many cis-acting regulatory elements. Evaluation of XsMSD gene function based on virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) indicated that the gene was closely related to early development of the fertilized ovules and fruits. This study suggested that SOD genes might be closely associated with the fate of ovule development (aborted or viable) after fertilization in X. sorbifolium.


Xanthoceras sorbifolium Fertilized ovule development Superoxide dismutase gene family Expression 



We would like to thank Jie Wen and Fengqin Dong for technical help. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30972344, 31370611 and 31570680) and Beijing Natural Science Foundation (6172028).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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