The cell size distribution of tomato fruit can be changed by overexpression of CDKA1

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Abstract

Tomato is one of the most cultivated vegetables in the world and an important ingredient of the human diet. Tomato breeders and growers face a continuous challenge of combining high quantity (production volume) with high quality (appearance, taste and perception for the consumers, processing quality for the processing industry). To improve the quality of tomato, it is important to understand the regulation of fruit development and of fruit cellular structure, which is in part determined by the sizes and numbers of cells within a tissue. The role of the cell cycle therein is poorly understood. Plant cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are homologues of yeast cdc2, an important cell cycle regulator conserved throughout all eukaryotes. CDKA1 is constitutively expressed during the cell cycle and has dual functions in S- and M-phase progression. We have produced transgenic tomato plants with increased expression of CDKA1 under the control of the fruit-specific TPRP promoter, which despite a reduced number of seeds and diminished amount of jelly, developed fruits with weight and shape comparable to that of wild-type fruits. However, the phenotypic changes with regard to the pericarp thickness and placenta area were remarkable. Fruits of tomato plants with the highest expression of CDKA1 had larger septa and columella (placenta), compared with wild-type fruits. Our data demonstrate the possibility of manipulating the ratio between cell division and expansion by changing the expression of a key cell cycle regulator and probably its activity with substantial effects on structural traits of the harvested fruit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-268
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Keywords

  • cyclin-dependent kinase
  • lycopersicon-esculentum mill
  • plant development
  • arabidopsis
  • endoreduplication
  • growth
  • gene
  • expression
  • division
  • dna

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