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Biography

Amit Dhingra worked for his PhD at the University of Delhi South Campus and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey supported by University Grant Commission, India and Rockefeller Foundation, USA. After his post-doctoral training at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, University of Central Florida and University of Florida, he joined Washington State University in 2006 where he is currently an Associate Professor of Genomics and Biotechnology. He is a graduate faculty in Molecular Plant Sciences and NIH Protein Biotechnology Graduate training programs and is a founding tutor of the International PhD program on Genomics and Molecular Physiology of Fruits based in IASMA, Italy. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed and refereed papers in highly reputed journals including Nature Genetics, PNAS, Plant Cell, Plant Physiology and he serves on the editorial board of two international peer reviewed and refereed plant biotechnology journals. Additional information can be obtained at www.genomics.wsu.edu

Abstract

The plastid is an extremely important organelle primarily for the photosynthetic activity in green tissue but also for myriad biosynthetic processes. Plastids play a large role in fruit color and the synthesis of phytochemicals beneficial to human health, organoleptic properties, and tolerance to abiotic stress. The majority of plastid-localized proteins that comprise its proteome are encoded in the nucleus and imported into the plastid. Characterization of plastid-targeted proteomes remains limited to a few model systems such as Arabidopsis and maize primarily in the photosynthetic context. We performed an in-depth computational analysis predicting the plastid-targeted proteome of apple, a representative of Rosaceae. The analysis workflow was extended to an interspecific comparison between six published genomes: Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera, Prunus persica, Populus trichocarpa, Fragaria vesca, and Solanum lycopersicum. Comparative analysis revealed significant subsets of genes exclusive to each species and identification of homologs that may be alternatively targeted either to the chloroplast or the cytosol depending on the species. In addition, morpho-developmental characterization of fruit plastids at 11 developmental time points was performed across three diverse genotypes in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.). An overall increase in plastoglobule number and size was observed in epidermal plastids along with an overall increase in starch size throughout fruit development. It was observed that apple presents a unique plastid developmental model as its fruit possess some unique plastid transition stages not previously documented.