Reconfiguration of the achene and receptacle metabolic networks during strawberry fruit development

Aaron Fait, Kati Hanhineva, Romina Beleggia, Nir Dai, Ilana Rogachev, Victoria J. Nikiforova, Alisdair R. Fernie, Asaph Aharoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

264 Scopus citations


The anatomy of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) fruit, in which the achene is found on the outer part of the fruit, makes it an excellent species for studying the regulation of fruit development. It can provide a model for the cross talk between primary and secondary metabolism, whose role is of pivotal importance in the process. By combining gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with the aim of addressing the metabolic regulation underlying fruit seed development, we simultaneously analyzed the composition of primary and secondary metabolites, separately, in achene and receptacle during fruit ripening of strawberry cultivar Herut. The results from these analyses suggest that changes in primary and secondary metabolism reflect organ and developmental specificities. For instance, the receptacle was characterized by increases in sugars and their direct derivatives, while the achene was characterized by a major decrease in the levels of carbon- and nitrogen-rich compounds, with the exception of storage-related metabolites (e.g. raffinose). Furthermore, the receptacle, and to a lesser extent the achene, exhibited dynamic fluctuations in the levels and nature of secondary metabolites across the ripening process. In the receptacle, proanthocyanidins and flavonol derivatives characterized mainly early developmental stages, while anthocyanins were abundant in the mature red stage; in the achene, ellagitannin and flavonoids were abundant during early and late development, respectively. Correlation-based network analysis suggested that metabolism is substantially coordinated during early development in either organ. Nonetheless, a higher degree of connectivity within and between metabolic pathways was measured in the achenes. The data are discussed within the context of current models both of the interaction of primary and secondary metabolism and of the metabolic interaction between the different plant organs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-750
Number of pages21
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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