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Comparative Proteomic Analysis of Walnut (Juglans regia L.) Pellicle Tissues Reveals the Regulation of Nut Quality Attributes


Walnuts (Juglans regia L.) are a valuable dietary source of polyphenols and lipids, with increasing worldwide consumption. California is a major producer, with 'Chandler' and 'Tulare' among the cultivars more widely grown. 'Chandler' produces kernels with extra light color at a higher frequency than other cultivars, gaining preference by growers and consumers. Here we performed a deep comparative proteome analysis of kernel pellicle tissue from these two valued genotypes at three harvest maturities, detecting a total of 4937 J. regia proteins. Late and early maturity stages were compared for each cultivar, revealing many developmental responses common or specific for each cultivar. Top protein biomarkers for each developmental stage were also selected based on larger fold-change differences and lower variance among replicates, including proteins for biosynthesis of lipids and phenols, defense-related proteins and desiccation stress-related proteins. Comparison between the genotypes also revealed the common and specific protein repertoires, totaling 321 pellicle proteins with differential abundance at harvest stage. The proteomics data provides clues on antioxidant, secondary, and hormonal metabolism that could be involved in the loss of quality in the pellicles during processing for commercialization.

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