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Temperature-dependent sugar accumulation in interspecific Capsicum F1 plants showing hybrid weakness

Abstract

In plants, F1 hybrids showing hybrid weakness exhibit weaker growth than their parents. The phenotypes of hybrid weakness are often suppressed at certain temperatures. However, it is unclear whether hybrid weakness in Capsicum annuum × C. chinense is temperature-dependent or not. Our study showed that Capsicum hybrid weakness was suppressed at 30 and 35 °C and was induced at 15, 20, and 25 °C. Moreover, we investigated the time course of hybrid weakness in cell death, metabolite content, and gene expression in leaves of plants transferred to 20 °C after growing at 30 °C for 21 days. The expression of pathogen defense-related genes was upregulated at 1 day after transfer to 20 °C (DAT). Cell death was detected at 7 DAT, plant growth had almost stopped since 14 DAT, and sugars were accumulated at 42 DAT in hybrid plants. The study revealed that some sugar transporter genes, which had been upregulated since 7 DAT, were involved in sugar accumulation in Capsicum hybrid weakness. Thus, our results demonstrated that gene expression changes occur first, followed by physiological and morphological changes after induction of hybrid weakness. These responses observed in this study in Capsicum hybrid weakness are likely to be owed to plant defense responses-like reactions.

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Acknowledgements

This work was partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP17K15224 and JP20K05988 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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TT and KS designed the study. KS performed the experiments, collected and analyzed data, and wrote the manuscript. HF provided technical support for the measurement of metabolite content. SY administrated the project, and TT acquired funds for the study. All the authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Takahiro Tezuka.

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Shiragaki, K., Furukawa, H., Yokoi, S. et al. Temperature-dependent sugar accumulation in interspecific Capsicum F1 plants showing hybrid weakness. J Plant Res 134, 1199–1211 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-021-01340-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-021-01340-1

Keywords

  • Cell death
  • Pepper
  • Reproductive isolation
  • Sugar
  • Sugar transporter genes