Unravelling the mechanisms behind inflorescence termination in tomato

Project: PhD

Project Details


Inflorescence architecture is an essential trait impacting horticultural performance in crop species such as tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Research on inflorescences development has revealed that inflorescence architecture can be explained by the identity and activity of reproductive meristems. However, the process leading to termination of these multi-flowered structures remains elusive in most species, including tomato. The existing models describing reproductive arrest in Arabidopsis thaliana cannot be easily translated to tomato due to the differences in inflorescence type between the species. Thus, we aim at clarifying the mechanisms underlying inflorescence termination in tomato by following an unbiased approach. The use of transcriptomics and genome association studies will identify candidate genes involved in the arrest of inflorescences. Furthermore, to reach an integrative overview of the process, endogenous cues that may play a role will be studied. These cues encompass both plant hormones that cooperatively maintain meristematic activity in inflorescences (auxin and cytokinin), and sucrose, a signaling molecule reflecting resource availability in the plant. The designed research plan will shed light on the termination of inflorescences in tomato, and this knowledge can be applied to control flower number per inflorescence, and thereby deliver tools to shape inflorescence architecture, fruit quality and yield in tomato.
Effective start/end date1/06/23 → …


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