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Gene expression and metabolism in tomato fruit surface tissues

TitleGene expression and metabolism in tomato fruit surface tissues
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMintz-Oron, S, Mandel, T, Rogachev, I, Feldberg, L, Lotan, O, Yativ, M, Wang, Z, Jetter, R, Venger, I, Adato, A, Aharoni, A
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume147
Pagination823-851
Date PublishedJun
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number0032-0889
KeywordsABC, ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA, CELL ELONGATION, COTTON FIBER, CUTICULAR STRUCTURE, CUTIN BIOSYNTHESIS, FUNCTIONAL-CHARACTERIZATION, MASS-SPECTROMETRY, MYB TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR, TRANSPIRATION BARRIER PROPERTIES, TRANSPORTER GENE
Abstract

The cuticle, covering the surface of all primary plant organs, plays important roles in plant development and protection against the biotic and abiotic environment. In contrast to vegetative organs, very little molecular information has been obtained regarding the surfaces of reproductive organs such as fleshy fruit. To broaden our knowledge related to fruit surface, comparative transcriptome and metabolome analyses were carried out on peel and flesh tissues during tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum) fruit development. Out of 574 peel-associated transcripts, 17% were classified as putatively belonging to metabolic pathways generating cuticular components, such as wax, cutin, and phenylpropanoids. Orthologs of the Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana) SHINE2 and MIXTA-LIKE regulatory factors, activating cutin and wax biosynthesis and fruit epidermal cell differentiation, respectively, were also predominantly expressed in the peel. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry using a flame ionization detector identified 100 metabolites that are enriched in the peel tissue during development. These included flavonoids, glycoalkaloids, and amyrin-type pentacyclic triterpenoids as well as polar metabolites associated with cuticle and cell wall metabolism and protection against photooxidative stress. Combined results at both transcript and metabolite levels revealed that the formation of cuticular lipids precedes phenylpropanoid and flavonoid biosynthesis. Expression patterns of reporter genes driven by the upstream region of the wax-associated SlCER6 gene indicated progressive activity of this wax biosynthetic gene in both fruit exocarp and endocarp. Peel-associated genes identified in our study, together with comparative analysis of genes enriched in surface tissues of various other plant species, establish a springboard for future investigations of plant surface biology.

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