An important constraint for plant biomass production is the natural day length. Artificial light allows for longer photoperiods, but tomato plants develop a detrimental leaf injury when grown under continuous light—a still poorly understood phenomenon discovered in the 1920s. Here, we report a dominant locus on chromosome 7 of wild tomato species that confers continuous light tolerance. Genetic evidence, RNAseq data, silencing experiments and sequence analysis all point to the type III light harvesting ¿chlorophyll a/b binding protein 13 (¿CAB-13) gene as a major factor responsible for the tolerance. In Arabidopsis thaliana, this protein is thought to have a regulatory role balancing light harvesting by photosystems I and II. Introgressing the tolerance into modern tomato hybrid lines, results in up to 20% yield increase, showing that limitations for crop productivity, caused by the adaptation of plants to the terrestrial 24-h day/night cycle, can be overcome.
- differential expression analysis
- greenhouse tomato
- dependent phosphorylation
- chlorophyll fluorescence
- air humidity