New Manuscript: Genome wide gene expression during embryo development in cacao.

Posted: July 21, 2014

Genome-wide analysis reveals divergent patterns of gene expression during zygotic and somatic embryo maturation of Theobroma cacao L., the chocolate tree: Siela N Maximova, Sergio Florez, Xiangling Shen, Nicolas Niemenak, Yufan Zhang, Wayne Curtis and Mark J Guiltinan BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:185 doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-185

With the goal to better understand SE development and to improve the efficiency of SE conversion we examined gene expression differences between zygotic and somatic embryos using a whole genome microarray. The expression of 28,752 genes was determined at 4 developmental time points during zygotic embryogenesis (ZE) and 2 time points during cacao somatic embryogenesis (SE). Within the ZE time course, 10,288 differentially expressed genes were enriched for functions related to responses to abiotic and biotic stimulus, metabolic and cellular processes. These differences in gene transcript levels associated with critical processes during seed development are consistent with the fact that somatic embryos do not fully develop the large storage cotyledons found in zygotic embryos. These results provide insight towards design of improved protocols for cacao somatic embryogenesis.