Two cultivars of F. vesca, red-fruited Baron Solemacher (BS) and white-fruited Pineapple Crush (PC), were studied to compare and contrast the quantitative accumulation of major polyphenols and related biosynthetic pathway gene expression patterns during fruit development and ripening. Developing PC fruit showed higher levels of hydroxycinnamic acids in green stages and a greater accumulation of ellagitannins in ripe fruit in comparison to BS. In addition to anthocyanin, red BS fruit had greater levels of flavan-3-ols when ripe than PC. Expression patterns of key structural genes and transcription factors of the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid biosynthetic pathway, an abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthetic gene, and a putative ABA receptor gene that may regulate the pathway, were also analyzed during fruit development and ripening to determine which genes exhibited differences in expression and when such differences were first evident. Expression of all pathway genes differed between the red BS and white PC at one or more times during development, most notably at ripening when phenylalanine ammonia lyase 1 (PAL1), chalcone synthase (CHS), flavanone-3′-hydroxylase (F3′H), dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR), anthocyanidin synthase (ANS), and UDP:flavonoid-O-glucosyltransferase 1 (UFGT1) were significantly upregulated in the red BS fruit. The transcription factors MYB1 and MYB10 did not differ substantially between red and white fruit except at ripening, when both the putative repressor MYB1 and promoter MYB10 were upregulated in red BS but not white PC fruit. The expression of ABA-related gene 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 1 (NCED1) was higher in red BS fruit but only in the early green stages of development. Thus, a multigenic effect at several points in the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid biosynthetic pathway due to lack of MYB10 upregulation may have resulted in white PC fruit.

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Published in Horticulturae, v. 4, issue 4, 30, p. 1-16.

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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The information reported in this paper (No. 18-11-087) is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station and is published with the approval of the Director.