Chili pepper (Capsicum spp.) is an important crop, as well as a model for fruit development studies and domestication. Here, we performed a time-course experiment to estimate standardized gene expression profiles with respect to fruit development for six domesticated and four wild chili pepper ancestors. We sampled the transcriptomes every 10 days from flowering to fruit maturity, and found that the mean standardized expression profiles for domesticated and wild accessions significantly differed. The mean standardized expression was higher and peaked earlier for domesticated vs. wild genotypes, particularly for genes involved in the cell cycle that ultimately control fruit size. We postulate that these gene expression changes are driven by selection pressures during domestication and show a robust network of cell cycle genes with a time shift in expression, which explains some of the differences between domesticated and wild phenotypes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, México (Conacyt project 1570).
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Gene expression