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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Use of Genomics Tools to Isolate Key Ripening Genes and Analyze Fruit Maturation in Tomato

Authors
item Moore, Shanna - CORNELL UNIVERSITY
item Vrebalov, Julia - BOYCE THOMPSON INSTITUTE
item Payton, Paxton
item Giovannoni, James

Submitted to: Journal of Experimental Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 20, 2002
Publication Date: October 20, 2002
Citation: MOORE, S., VREBALOV, J., PAYTON, P.R., GIOVANNONI, J.J. USE OF GENOMICS TOOLS TO ISOLATE KEY RIPENING GENES AND ANALYZE FRUIT MATURATION IN TOMATO. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY. 2002. 53 (377) P. 2023-2030. 2002.

Interpretive Summary: Development, maturation, and ripening of fruits has received considerable experimental attention, primarily due to the uniqueness of such processes to plant species and the importance of fruit as a significant aspect of human dietary intake and nutrition. Molecular and genetic analysis of fruit development, and especially ripening of fleshy fruits, has resulted in significant gain in knowledge over recent years. Tomato has proved to be an excellent model system for analysis of fruit ripening and development, in part due to the availability of well characterized ripening mutants. Especially interesting, are the ripening-inhibitor (rin) and non-ripening (nor) mutations which result in non-ripening fruit. Both mutations; therefore, represent genes near the beginning of the ripening process. We have recently isolated both genes and have a better understanding of the control of fruit ripening. Recent development of tools for tomato genomics summarized here, have further expanded the potential of the tomato system for elucidation of genetic regulatory components impacting fruit development, ripening, and nutritional quality.

Technical Abstract: Development, maturation, and ripening of fruits has received considerable experimental attention, primarily due to the uniqueness of such processes to plant species and the importance of fruit as a significant aspect of human dietary intake and nutrition. Molecular and genetic analysis of fruit development, and especially ripening of fleshy fruits, has resulted in significant gains in knowledge over recent years, especially with respect to understanding ethylene biosynthesis and response, cell wall metabolism, and to a lesser extent, environmental cues which impact ripening. Tomato has proved to be an excellent model system for analysis of fruit ripening and development, in part due to the availability of well characterized ripening mutants. Especially interesting are the non-allelic ripening-inhibitor (rin) and non-ripening (nor) mutations which result in non-ripening fruit. Fruit from both mutants are deficient in climacteric respiration and the associated burst in ethylene biosynthesis. Exogenous ethylene does not restore ripening yet does induce expression of ethylene-regulated ripening genes, suggesting both mutations block necessary aspects of ripening outside the realm of ethylene's influence. Both mutations therefore represent genes upstream of ethylene control and additional non-ethylene mediated aspects of ripening. We have recenlty isolated both genes through positional cloning strategies and demonstrate that ripening is regulated in part by a MADS-box transcription factor at the rin locus. Recent development of tools for tomato genomics summarized here have further expanded the potential of the tomato system for elucidation of genetic regulatory components impacting fruit development, ripening, and nutritional quality.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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