Transcriptome Analysis Provides a Preliminary Regulation Route of the Ethylene Signal Transduction Component, SlEIN2, during Tomato Ripening.
ABSTRACT: Ethylene is crucial in climacteric fruit ripening. The ethylene signal pathway regulates several physiological alterations such as softening, carotenoid accumulation and sugar level reduction, and production of volatile compounds. All these physiological processes are controlled by numerous genes and their expression simultaneously changes at the onset of ripening. Ethylene insensitive 2 (EIN2) is a key component for ethylene signal transduction, and its mutation causes ethylene insensitivity. In tomato, silencing SlEIN2 resulted in a non-ripening phenotype and low ethylene production. RNA sequencing of SlEIN2-silenced and wild type tomato, and differential gene expression analyses, indicated that silencing SlEIN2 caused changes in more than 4,000 genes, including those related to photosynthesis, defense, and secondary metabolism. The relative expression level of 28 genes covering ripening-associated transcription factors, ethylene biosynthesis, ethylene signal pathway, chlorophyll binding proteins, lycopene and aroma biosynthesis, and defense pathway, showed that SlEIN2 influences ripening inhibitor (RIN) in a feedback loop, thus controlling the expression of several other genes. SlEIN2 regulates many aspects of fruit ripening, and is a key factor in the ethylene signal transduction pathway. Silencing SlEIN2 ultimately results in lycopene biosynthesis inhibition, which is the reason why tomato does not turn red, and this gene also affects the expression of several defense-associated genes. Although SlEIN2-silenced and green wild type fruits are similar in appearance, their metabolism is significantly different at the molecular level.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Lycopene is an important carotenoid pigment in red fruits and vegetables, especially in tomato. Although lycopene biosynthesis and catabolism have been found to be regulated by multiple factors including phytohormones, little is known about their regulatory mechanism. Cytokinins are crucial to various aspects of plant growth. Isopentenyltransferases (IPTs) catalyze the initial rate-limiting step of cytokinins biosynthesis, however, their roles in fruit ripening remain unclear. RESULTS:Here, the functions of SlIPT4, encoding an isopentenyltransferase, were characterized via RNAi-mediated gene silencing in tomato. As we expected, silencing of SlIPT4 expression resulted in accelerated leaf senescence. However, down-expression of SlIPT4 generated never-red orange fruits, corresponding with a dramatic reduction of lycopene. Among lycopene biosynthesis-related genes, the fact of remarkable decrease of ZISO transcript and upregulation of other genes, revealed that SlIPT4 regulates positively lycopene biosynthesis via directly affecting ZISO expression, and also supported the existence of regulatory loops in lycopene biosynthesis pathway. Meanwhile, the accumulation of abscisic acid (ABA) was reduced and the transcripts PSY1 were increased in SlIPT4-RNAi fruits, supporting the feedback regulation between ABA and lycopene biosynthesis. CONCLUSION:The study revealed the crucial roles of SlIPT4 in leaf senescence and the regulatory network of lycopene biosynthesis in tomato, providing a new light on the lycopene biosynthesis and fruit ripening.
Project description:One of the main characteristics of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit ripening is a massive accumulation of carotenoids (mainly lycopene), which may contribute to the nutrient quality of tomato fruit and its role in chemoprevention. Previous studies have shown that ethylene (ET) plays a central role in promoting fruit ripening. In this study, the role of jasmonic acid (JA) in controlling lycopene accumulation in tomato fruits was analysed by measuring fruit lycopene content and the expression levels of lycopene biosynthetic genes in JA-deficient mutants (spr2 and def1) and a 35S::prosystemin transgenic line (35S::prosys) with increased JA levels and constitutive JA signalling. The lycopene content was significantly decreased in the fruits of spr2 and def1, but was enhanced in 35S::prosys fruits. Simultaneously, the expression of lycopene biosynthetic genes followed a similar trend. Lycopene synthesis in methyl jasmonate (MeJA) vapour-treated fruits showed an inverted U-shaped dose response, which significantly enhanced the fruit lycopene content and restored lycopene accumulation in spr2 and def1 at a concentration of 0.5 µM. The results indicated that JA plays a positive role in lycopene biosynthesis. In addition, the role of ET in JA-induced lycopene accumulation was also examined. Ethylene production in tomato fruits was depressed in spr2 and def1 while it increased in 35S::prosys. However, the exogenous application of MeJA to Never ripe (Nr), the ET-insensitive mutant, significantly promoted lycopene accumulation, as well as the expression of lycopene biosynthetic genes. Based on these results, it is proposed that JA might function independently of ethylene to promote lycopene biosynthesis in tomato fruits.
Project description:In this study, the effect of melatonin on the postharvest ripening and quality improvement of tomato fruit was carried out. The tomatoes were immersed in exogenous melatonin for 2h, and then the related physiological indicators and the expression of genes during post-harvest life were evaluated. Compared with control check (CK), the 50 µM melatonin treatment significantly increased lycopene levels by 5.8-fold. Meanwhile, the key genes involved in fruit colour development, including phytoene synthase1 (PSY1) and carotenoid isomerase (CRTISO), showed a 2-fold increase in expression levels. The rate of water loss from tomato fruit also increased 8.3%, and the expression of aquaporin genes, such as SlPIP12Q, SlPIPQ, SlPIP21Q, and SlPIP22, was up-regulated 2- to 3-fold under 50 µM melatonin treatment. In addition, 50 µM melatonin treatment enhanced fruit softening, increased water-soluble pectin by 22.5%, and decreased protopectin by 19.5%. The expression of the cell wall modifying proteins polygalacturonase (PG), pectin esterase1 (PE1), ?-galactosidase (TBG4), and expansin1 (Exp1) was up-regulated under 50 µM melatonin treatment. Melatonin increased ethylene production by 27.1%, accelerated the climacteric phase, and influenced the ethylene signalling pathway. Alteration of ethylene production correlated with altered 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase (ACS4) expression. The expression of ethylene signal transduction-related genes such as NR, SlETR4, SlEIL1, SlEIL3, and SlERF2, was enhanced by 50 µM melatonin. The effect of melatonin on ethylene biosynthesis, ethylene perception, and ethylene signalling may contribute to fruit ripening and quality improvement in tomato. This research may promote the application of melatonin on postharvest ripening and quality improvement of tomato fruit as well as other horticultural productions in the future.
Project description:Ripening is an important stage of fruit development. To screen the genes associated with pigment formation in tomato fruit, a suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) cDNA library was constructed by using tomato fruit in the green ripe and break ripe stages, and 129 differential genes were obtained. Using redness as a screening marker, virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of the differential genes was performed with a sprout vacuum-infiltration system (SVI). The results showed that silencing the SlNAP7 gene affected the chloroplast development of tomato leaves, manifesting as a photo-bleaching phenotype, and silenced fruit significantly affected the accumulation of lycopene, manifested as a yellow phenotype. In our study, we found that silencing the SlNAP7 gene downregulates the expression of the POR and PORA genes and destroys the normal development of the chloroplast. The expression of related genes included in the lycopene biosynthesis pathway was not significantly changed, but lycopene accumulation was significantly reduced in tomato fruit. Perhaps it was caused by the destruction of the chromoplast, which leads to the oxidation of lycopene. The results show that the SlNAP7 gene influences chloroplast development and lycopene accumulation in tomato.
Project description:Abscisic acid (ABA) plays important roles during tomato fruit ripening. To study the regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis by ABA, the SlNCED1 gene encoding 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED), a key enzyme in the ABA biosynthesis, was suppressed in tomato plants by transformation with an RNA interference (RNAi) construct driven by a fruit-specific E8 promoter. ABA accumulation and SlNCED1 transcript levels in the transgenic fruit were down-regulated to between 20-50% of that in control fruit. This significant reduction in NCED activity led to the carbon that normally channels to free ABA as well as the ABA metabolite accumulation during ripening to be partially blocked. Therefore, this 'backlogged' carbon transformed into the carotenoid pathway in the RNAi lines resulted in increased assimilation and accumulation of upstream compounds in the pathway, chiefly lycopene and β-carotene. Fruit of all RNAi lines displayed deep red coloration compared with the pink colour of control fruit. The decrease in endogenous ABA in these transgenics resulted in an increase in ethylene, by increasing the transcription of genes related to the synthesis of ethylene during ripening. In conclusion, ABA potentially regulated the degree of pigmentation and carotenoid composition during ripening and could control, at least in part, ethylene production and action in climacteric tomato fruit.
Project description:Ripening of the model fruit tomato (<i>Solanum lycopersicum</i>) is controlled by a transcription factor network including NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) domain proteins such as No-ripening (NOR), SlNAC1, and SlNAC4, but very little is known about the NAC targets or how they regulate ripening. Here, we conducted a systematic search of fruit-expressed NAC genes and showed that silencing <i>NOR-like1</i> (Solyc07g063420) using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) inhibited specific aspects of ripening. Ripening initiation was delayed by 14 days when NOR-like1 function was inactivated by CRISPR/Cas9 and fruits showed obviously reduced ethylene production, retarded softening and chlorophyll loss, and reduced lycopene accumulation. RNA-sequencing profiling and gene promoter analysis suggested that genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis (<i>SlACS2</i>, <i>SlACS4</i>), color formation (<i>SlGgpps2</i>, <i>SlSGR1</i>), and cell wall metabolism (<i>SlPG2a</i>, <i>SlPL</i>, <i>SlCEL2,</i> and <i>SlEXP1</i>) are direct targets of NOR-like1. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative PCR (ChIP-qPCR), and dual-luciferase reporter assay (DLR) confirmed that NOR-like1 bound to the promoters of these genes both in vitro and in vivo, and activated their expression. Our findings demonstrate that NOR-like1 is a new positive regulator of tomato fruit ripening, with an important role in the transcriptional regulatory network.
Project description:Ethylene has long been known to be a critical signal controlling the ripening of climacteric fruits; however, the signaling mechanism underlying ethylene production during fruit development is unknown. Here, we report that two FERONIA-like receptor kinases (FERLs) regulate fruit ripening by modulating ethylene production in the climacteric fruit, apple (Malus×domestica). Bioinformatic analysis indicated that the apple genome contains 14 members of the FER family (MdFERL1-17), of these 17 FERLs, MdFERL6 was expressed at the highest level in fruit. Heterologous expression of MdFERL6 or MdFERL1, the apple homolog of Arabidopsis FER, in another climacteric fruit, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit delayed ripening and suppressed ethylene production. Overexpression and antisense expression of MdFERL6 in apple fruit calli inhibited and promoted ethylene production, respectively. Additionally, virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) of SlFERL1, the tomato homolog of FER, promoted tomato fruit ripening and ethylene production. Both MdFERL6 and MdFERL1 physically interacted with MdSAMS (S-adenosylmethionine synthase), a key enzyme in the ethylene biosynthesis pathway. MdFERL6 was expressed at high levels during early fruit development, but dramatically declined when fruit ripening commenced, implying that MdFERL6 might limit ethylene production prior to fruit development and the ethylene production burst during fruit ripening. These results indicate that FERLs regulate apple and tomato fruit ripening, shedding light on the molecular mechanisms underlying ripening in climacteric fruit.
Project description:The MADS-box transcription factors play essential roles in many physiological and biochemical processes of plants, especially in fruit ripening. Here, a tomato MADS-box gene, SlCMB1, was isolated. SlCMB1 expression declined with the fruit ripening from immature green to B?+?7 (7 days after Breaker) fruits in the wild type (WT) and was lower in Nr and rin mutants fruits. Tomato plants with reduced SlCMB1 mRNA displayed delayed fruit ripening, reduced ethylene production and carotenoid accumulation. The ethylene production in SlCMB1-RNAi fruits decreased by approximately 50% as compared to WT. The transcripts of ethylene biosynthesis genes (ACS2, ACS4, ACO1 and ACO3), ethylene-responsive genes (E4, E8 and ERF1) and fruit ripening-related genes (RIN, TAGL1, FUL1, FUL2, LoxC and PE) were inhibited in SlCMB1-RNAi fruits. The carotenoid accumulation was decreased and two carotenoid synthesis-related genes (PSY1 and PDS) were down-regulated while three lycopene cyclase genes (CYCB, LCYB and LCYE) were up-regulated in transgenic fruits. Furthermore, yeast two-hybrid assay showed that SlCMB1 could interact with SlMADS-RIN, SlMADS1, SlAP2a and TAGL1, respectively. Collectively, these results indicate that SlCMB1 is a new component to the current model of regulatory network that regulates ethylene biosynthesis and carotenoid accumulation during fruit ripening.
Project description:Although the alternative oxidase (AOX) has been proposed to play a role in fruit development, the function of AOX in fruit ripening is unclear. To gain further insight into the role of AOX in tomato fruit ripening, transgenic tomato plants 35S-AOX1a and 35S-AOX-RNAi were generated. Tomato plants with reduced LeAOX levels exhibited retarded ripening; reduced carotenoids, respiration, and ethylene production; and the down-regulation of ripening-associated genes. Moreover, no apparent respiratory climacteric occurred in the AOX-reduced tomato fruit, indicating that AOX might play an important role in climacteric respiration. In contrast, the fruit that overexpressed LeAOX1a accumulated more lycopene, though they displayed a similar pattern of ripening to wild-type fruit. Ethylene application promoted fruit ripening and anticipated ethylene production and respiration, including the alternative pathway respiration. Interestingly, the transgenic plants with reduced LeAOX levels failed to ripen after 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment, while such inhibition was notably less effective in 35S-AOX1a fruit. These findings indicate that AOX is involved in respiratory climacteric and ethylene-mediated fruit ripening of tomato.
Project description:The essential role of ethylene in fruit ripening has been thoroughly studied. However, the involvement of brassinosteroids (BRs) in the regulation of fruit ripening and their relationship with the ethylene pathway are poorly understood. In the current study, we found that BRs were actively synthesized during tomato fruit ripening. We then generated transgenic lines overexpressing or silencing <i>SlCYP90B3</i>, which encodes a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase that catalyzes the rate-limiting step of BR synthesis. The expression level of <i>SlCYP90B3</i> was positively related to the contents of bioactive BRs as well as the ripening process in tomato fruit, including enhanced softening and increased soluble sugar and flavor volatile contents. Both carotenoid accumulation and ethylene production were strongly correlated with the expression level of <i>SlCYP90B3</i>, corroborated by the altered expression of carotenoid biosynthetic genes as well as ethylene pathway genes in transgenic tomato fruits. However, the application of the ethylene perception inhibitor 1-methycyclopropene (1-MCP) abolished the promotion effect of <i>SlCYP90B3</i> overexpression on carotenoid accumulation. Taken together, these results increase our understanding of the involvement of <i>SlCYP90B3</i> in bioactive BR biosynthesis as well as fruit ripening in tomato, thus making <i>SlCYP90B3</i> a target gene for improvement of visual, nutritional and flavor qualities of tomato fruits with no yield penalty.