Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 7, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Ripening in tomato is controlled by the interaction of several "messenger compounds" called plant hormones. In this work a system is described for growing whole fruit from flowers in culture after removing the flowers from the plant. This technique allows detailed analysis of hormone effects on ripening. One class of plant hormones, called auxins, were shown to change the rate of ripening so that the time from the first indication of red color to full red was almost doubled. These results indicate that techniques for changing auxins in fruit could be useful for increasing the shelf-life of tomatoes. These results will be useful to plant breeders, geneticists, molecular biologists and seed scientists interested in improving the market quality of tomatoes since these results offer a new and novel approach to changing an important aspect of fruit ripening behavior.
Technical Abstract: An in vitro system was used for the production of tomato fruit in culture starting from immature flowers. This system produced small parthanocarpic (seedless) fruit in response to 10-4 M indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) supplied in the medium. Other auxins, auxin conjugates and "antiauxins" tested were not effective or produced markedly fewer fruit. Additional IAA supplied to the fruit culture media prior to breaker stage resulted in an increase in the time period between breaker and red-ripe stages from 7 days without additional IAA to 12 days when 10-5 M IAA was added. These results suggest that significant changes in the ripening period could be obtained by alteration of auxin relationships in tomato fruit.