The Lc petunia system, which displays enhanced, light-induced vegetative pigmentation, was used to investigate how high light affects anthocyanin biosynthesis, and to assess the effects of anthocyanin pigmentation upon photosynthesis. Lc petunia plants displayed intense purple anthocyanin pigmentation throughout the leaves and stems when grown under high-light conditions, yet remain acyanic when grown under shade conditions. The coloured phenotypes matched with an accumulation of anthocyanins and flavonols, as well as the activation of the early and late flavonoid biosynthetic genes required for flavonol and anthocyanin production. Pigmentation in Lc petunia only occurred under conditions which normally induce a modest amount of anthocyanin to accumulate in wild-type Mitchell petunia [Petunia axillaris×(Petunia axillaris×Petunia hybrida cv. ‘Rose of Heaven’)]. Anthocyanin pigmentation in Lc petunia leaves appears to screen underlying photosynthetic tissues, increasing light saturation and light compensation points, without reducing the maximal photosynthetic assimilation rate (Amax). In the Lc petunia system, where the bHLH factor Leaf colour is constitutively expressed, expression of the bHLH (Lc) and WD40 (An11) components of the anthocyanin regulatory system were not limited, suggesting that the high-light-induced anthocyanin pigmentation is regulated by endogenous MYB transcription factors.
Anthocyanin; bHLH; flavonol; Lc; Leaf colour; light; MYB; photosynthesis; vegetative pigmentation
Calmodulin (CaM) is a major calcium sensor in all eukaryotes. It binds calcium and modulates the activity of a wide range of downstream proteins in response to calcium signals. However, little is known about the CaM gene family in Solanaceous species, including the economically important species, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and the gene silencing model plant, Nicotiana benthamiana. Moreover, the potential function of CaM in plant disease resistance remains largely unclear.
We performed genome-wide identification of CaM gene families in Solanaceous species. Employing bioinformatics approaches, multiple full-length CaM genes were identified from tomato, N. benthamiana and potato (S. tuberosum) genomes, with tomato having 6 CaM genes, N. benthamiana having 7 CaM genes, and potato having 4 CaM genes. Sequence comparison analyses showed that three tomato genes, SlCaM3/4/5, two potato genes StCaM2/3, and two sets of N. benthamiana genes, NbCaM1/2/3/4 and NbCaM5/6, encode identical CaM proteins, yet the genes contain different intron/exon organization and are located on different chromosomes. Further sequence comparisons and gene structural and phylogenetic analyses reveal that Solanaceous species gained a new group of CaM genes during evolution. These new CaM genes are unusual in that they contain three introns in contrast to only a single intron typical of known CaM genes in plants. The tomato CaM (SlCaM) genes were found to be expressed in all organs. Prediction of cis-acting elements in 5' upstream sequences and expression analyses demonstrated that SlCaM genes have potential to be highly responsive to a variety of biotic and abiotic stimuli. Additionally, silencing of SlCaM2 and SlCaM6 altered expression of a set of signaling and defense-related genes and resulted in significantly lower resistance to Tobacco rattle virus and the oomycete pathogen, Pythium aphanidermatum.
The CaM gene families in the Solanaceous species tomato, N. benthamiana and potato were identified through a genome-wide analysis. All three plant species harbor a small set of genes that encode identical CaM proteins, which may manifest a strategy of plants to retain redundancy or enhanced quantitative gene function. In addition, Solanaceous species have evolved one new group of CaM genes during evolution. CaM genes play important roles in plant disease resistance to a variety of pathogens.
Calcium; Calmodulin; Gene Structure; Phylogenetic Analysis; Defense; Resistance; Tomato; Nicotiana Benthamiana; Potato
Anthocyanins are red, purple, or blue plant pigments that belong to the family of polyphenolic compounds collectively called flavonoids. Their demonstrated antioxidant properties and economic importance to the dye, fruit, and cut-flower industries have driven intensive research into their metabolic biosynthetic pathways. In order to produce stable, glycosylated anthocyanins from colorless flavanones such as naringenin and eriodictyol, a four-step metabolic pathway was constructed that contained plant genes from heterologous origins: flavanone 3β-hydroxylase from Malus domestica, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase from Anthurium andraeanum, anthocyanidin synthase (ANS) also from M. domestica, and UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase from Petunia hybrida. Using two rounds of PCR, each one of the four genes was first placed under the control of the trc promoter and its own bacterial ribosome-binding site and then cloned sequentially into vector pK184. Escherichia coli cells containing the recombinant plant pathway were able to take up either naringenin or eriodictyol and convert it to the corresponding glycosylated anthocyanin, pelargonidin 3-O-glucoside or cyanidin 3-O-glucoside. The produced anthocyanins were present at low concentrations, while most of the metabolites detected corresponded to their dihydroflavonol precursors, as well as the corresponding flavonols. The presence of side product flavonols is at least partly due to an alternate reaction catalyzed by ANS. This is the first time plant-specific anthocyanins have been produced from a microorganism and opens up the possibility of further production improvement by protein and pathway engineering.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) and potato (S. tuberosum) are two economically important crop species, the genomes of which are currently being sequenced. This study presents a first genome-wide analysis of these two species, based on two large collections of BAC end sequences representing approximately 19% of the tomato genome and 10% of the potato genome.
The tomato genome has a higher repeat content than the potato genome, primarily due to a higher number of retrotransposon insertions in the tomato genome. On the other hand, simple sequence repeats are more abundant in potato than in tomato. The two genomes also differ in the frequency distribution of SSR motifs. Based on EST and protein alignments, potato appears to contain up to 6,400 more putative coding regions than tomato. Major gene families such as cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases and serine-threonine protein kinases are significantly overrepresented in potato, compared to tomato. Moreover, the P450 superfamily appears to have expanded spectacularly in both species compared to Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting an expanded network of secondary metabolic pathways in the Solanaceae. Both tomato and potato appear to have a low level of microsynteny with A. thaliana. A higher degree of synteny was observed with Populus trichocarpa, specifically in the region between 15.2 and 19.4 Mb on P. trichocarpa chromosome 10.
The findings in this paper present a first glimpse into the evolution of Solanaceous genomes, both within the family and relative to other plant species. When the complete genome sequences of these species become available, whole-genome comparisons and protein- or repeat-family specific studies may shed more light on the observations made here.
Gene-to-gene coexpression analysis is a powerful approach to infer the function of uncharacterized genes. Here, we report comprehensive identification of coexpression gene modules of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and experimental verification of coordinated expression of module member genes. On the basis of the gene-to-gene correlation coefficient calculated from 67 microarray hybridization data points, we performed a network-based analysis. This facilitated the identification of 199 coexpression modules. A gene ontology annotation search revealed that 75 out of the 199 modules are enriched with genes associated with common functional categories. To verify the coexpression relationships between module member genes, we focused on one module enriched with genes associated with the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway. A non-enzyme, non-transcription factor gene encoding a zinc finger protein in this module was overexpressed in S. lycopersicum cultivar Micro-Tom, and expression levels of flavonoid pathway genes were investigated. Flavonoid pathway genes included in the module were up-regulated in the plant overexpressing the zinc finger gene. This result demonstrates that coexpression modules, at least the ones identified in this study, represent actual transcriptional coordination between genes, and can facilitate the inference of tomato gene function.
coexpression; flavonoid; Solanum lycopersicum; tomato; zinc finger
A novel tomato-infecting begomovirus from Guangxi province, China, was identified and characterized, for which the name Tomato leaf curl China virus (ToLCCNV) was proposed. Phylogenetic and recombination analyses of the virus genomic sequences suggested that ToLCCNV may have arisen by recombination among Tomato leaf curl Vietnam virus (ToLCVV), Tomato leaf curl Gujarat virus (ToLCGV), and an unknown virus. A betasatellite molecule was found to be associated with ToLCCNV (ToLCCNB), and its complete nucleotide sequences were determined. Infectious clones of ToLCCNV and ToLCCNB were constructed and then used for agro-inoculation of plants; ToLCCNV alone infected Nicotiana benthamiana, Nicotiana glutinosa, Petunia hybrida, and Solanum lycopersicum plants, but no symptoms were induced. ToLCCNB was required for induction of leaf curl disease in these hosts. The βC1 protein of ToLCCNB was identified as a suppressor of RNA silencing and accumulated primarily in the nucleus. Deletion mutagenesis of βC1 showed that the central part of βC1 (amino acids 44 to 74) was responsible for both the suppressor activity and nuclear localization.
Many highly beneficial traits (e.g. disease or abiotic stress resistance) have been transferred into crops through crosses with their wild relatives. The 13 recognized species of tomato (Solanum section Lycopersicon) are closely related to each other and wild species genes have been extensively used for improvement of the crop, Solanum lycopersicum L. In addition, the lack of geographical barriers has permitted natural hybridization between S. lycopersicum and its closest wild relative Solanum pimpinellifolium in Ecuador, Peru and northern Chile. In order to better understand patterns of S. lycopersicum diversity, we sequenced 47 markers ranging in length from 130 to 1200 bp (total of 24 kb) in genotypes of S. lycopersicum and wild tomato species S. pimpinellifolium, Solanum arcanum, Solanum peruvianum, Solanum pennellii and Solanum habrochaites. Between six and twelve genotypes were comparatively analyzed per marker. Several of the markers had previously been hypothesized as carrying wild species alleles within S. lycopersicum, i.e., cryptic introgressions.
Each marker was mapped with high confidence (e<1 x 10-30) to a single genomic location using BLASTN against tomato whole genome shotgun chromosomes (SL2.40) database. Neighbor-joining trees showed high mean bootstrap support (86.8 ± 2.34%) for distinguishing red-fruited from green-fruited taxa for 38 of the markers. Hybridization and parsimony splits networks, genomic map positions of markers relative to documented introgressions, and historical origins of accessions were used to interpret evolutionary patterns at nine markers with putatively introgressed alleles.
Of the 47 genetic markers surveyed in this study, four were involved in linkage drag on chromosome 9 during introgression breeding, while alleles at five markers apparently originated from natural hybridization with S. pimpinellifolium and were associated with primitive genotypes of S. lycopersicum. The positive identification of introgressed genes within crop species such as S. lycopersicum will help inform conservation and utilization of crop germplasm diversity, for example, facilitating the purging of undesirable linkage drag or the exploitation of novel, favorable alleles.
Cryptic introgression; Linkage drag; Breeding; DNA sequence; Solanum species
Endogenous pararetroviral sequences (EPRVs) are a recently discovered class of repetitive sequences that is broadly distributed in the plant kingdom. The potential contribution of EPRVs to plant pathogenicity or, conversely, to virus resistance is just beginning to be explored. Some members of the family Solanaceae are particularly rich in EPRVs. In previous work, EPRVs have been characterized molecularly in various species of Nicotiana including N.tabacum (tobacco) and Solanum tuberosum (potato). Here we describe a family of EPRVs in cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and a wild relative (S.habrochaites).
Molecular cloning and DNA sequence analysis revealed that tomato EPRVs (named LycEPRVs) are most closely related to those in tobacco. The sequence similarity of LycEPRVs in S.lycopersicum and S.habrochaites indicates they are potentially derived from the same pararetrovirus. DNA blot analysis revealed a similar genomic organization in the two species, but also some independent excision or insertion events after species separation, or flanking sequence divergence. LycEPRVs share with the tobacco elements a disrupted genomic structure and frequent association with retrotransposons. Fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed that copies of LycEPRV are dispersed on all chromosomes in predominantly heterochromatic regions. Methylation of LycEPRVs was detected in CHG and asymmetric CHH nucleotide groups. Although normally quiescent EPRVs can be reactivated and produce symptoms of infection in some Nicotiana interspecific hybrids, a similar pathogenicity of LycEPRVs could not be demonstrated in Solanum L. section Lycopersicon [Mill.] hybrids. Even in healthy plants, however, transcripts derived from multiple LycEPRV loci and short RNAs complementary to LycEPRVs were detected and were elevated upon infection with heterologous viruses encoding suppressors of PTGS.
The analysis of LycEPRVs provides further evidence for the extensive invasion of pararetroviral sequences into the genomes of solanaceous plants. The detection of asymmetric CHH methylation and short RNAs, which are hallmarks of RNAi in plants, suggests that LycEPRVs are controlled by an RNA-mediated silencing mechanism.
The Solanaceae family contains a number of important crop species including potato (Solanum tuberosum) which is grown for its underground storage organ known as a tuber. Albeit the 4th most important food crop in the world, other than a collection of ~220,000 Expressed Sequence Tags, limited genomic sequence information is currently available for potato and advances in potato yield and nutrition content would be greatly assisted through access to a complete genome sequence. While morphologically diverse, Solanaceae species such as potato, tomato, pepper, and eggplant share not only genes but also gene order thereby permitting highly informative comparative genomic analyses.
In this study, we report on analysis 89.9 Mb of potato genomic sequence representing 10.2% of the genome generated through end sequencing of a potato bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone library (87 Mb) and sequencing of 22 potato BAC clones (2.9 Mb). The GC content of potato is very similar to Solanum lycopersicon (tomato) and other dicotyledonous species yet distinct from the monocotyledonous grass species, Oryza sativa. Parallel analyses of repetitive sequences in potato and tomato revealed substantial differences in their abundance, 34.2% in potato versus 46.3% in tomato, which is consistent with the increased genome size per haploid genome of these two Solanum species. Specific classes and types of repetitive sequences were also differentially represented between these two species including a telomeric-related repetitive sequence, ribosomal DNA, and a number of unclassified repetitive sequences. Comparative analyses between tomato and potato at the gene level revealed a high level of conservation of gene content, genic feature, and gene order although discordances in synteny were observed.
Genomic level analyses of potato and tomato confirm that gene sequence and gene order are conserved between these solanaceous species and that this conservation can be leveraged in genomic applications including cross-species annotation and genome sequencing initiatives. While tomato and potato share genic features, they differ in their repetitive sequence content and composition suggesting that repetitive sequences may have a more significant role in shaping speciation than previously reported.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is considered a model plant species for a group of economically important crops, such as potato, pepper, eggplant, since it exhibits a reduced genomic size (950 Mb), a short generation time, and routine transformation technologies. Moreover, it shares with the other Solanaceous plants the same haploid chromosome number and a high level of conserved genomic organization. Finally, many genomic and genetic resources are actually available for tomato, and the sequencing of its genome is in progress. These features make tomato an ideal species for theoretical studies and practical applications in the genomics field. The present review describes how structural genomics assist the selection of new varieties resistant to pathogens that cause damage to this crop. Many molecular markers highly linked to resistance genes and cloned resistance genes are available and could be used for a high-throughput screening of multiresistant varieties. Moreover, a new genomics-assisted breeding approach for improving fruit quality is presented and discussed. It relies on the identification of genetic mechanisms controlling the trait of interest through functional genomics tools. Following this approach, polymorphisms in major gene sequences responsible for variability in the expression of the trait under study are then exploited for tracking simultaneously favourable allele combinations in breeding programs using high-throughput genomic technologies. This aims at pyramiding in the genetic background of commercial cultivars alleles that increase their performances. In conclusion, tomato breeding strategies supported by advanced technologies are expected to target increased productivity and lower costs of improved genotypes even for complex traits.
Solanum lycopersicum; genetic and genomic resources; molecular markers; microarray; resistance to pathogens; fruit quality.
The cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is an important food crop, but highly susceptible to many pathogens. The major threat to potato production is the Irish famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans, which causes the devastating late blight disease. Potato breeding makes use of germplasm from wild relatives (wild germplasm) to introduce resistances into cultivated potato. The Solanum section Petota comprises tuber-bearing species that are potential donors of new disease resistance genes. The aim of this study was to explore Solanum section Petota for resistance genes and generate a widely accessible resource that is useful for studying and implementing disease resistance in potato.
The SolRgene database contains data on resistance to P. infestans and presence of R genes and R gene homologues in Solanum section Petota. We have explored Solanum section Petota for resistance to late blight in high throughput disease tests under various laboratory conditions and in field trials. From resistant wild germplasm, segregating populations were generated and assessed for the presence of resistance genes. All these data have been entered into the SolRgene database. To facilitate genetic and resistance gene evolution studies, phylogenetic data of the entire SolRgene collection are included, as well as a tool for generating phylogenetic trees of selected groups of germplasm. Data from resistance gene allele-mining studies are incorporated, which enables detection of R gene homologs in related germplasm. Using these resources, various resistance genes have been detected and some of these have been cloned, whereas others are in the cloning pipeline. All this information is stored in the online SolRgene database, which allows users to query resistance data, sequences, passport data of the accessions, and phylogenic classifications.
Solanum section Petota forms the basis of the SolRgene database, which contains a collection of resistance data of an unprecedented size and precision. Complemented with R gene sequence data and phylogenetic tools, SolRgene can be considered the primary resource for information on R genes from potato and wild tuber-bearing relatives.
Globodera ellingtonae was detected in Oregon in 2008. In order to make decisions regarding the regulation of this nematode, knowledge of its biology is required. We determined the host status of a diversity of potato (Solanum tuberosum) varieties in soil-based experiments and identified hatching stimulants in in vitro hatching assays. ‘Russet Burbank,’ ‘Desiree,’ ‘Modac,’ ‘Norland,’ ‘Umatilla,’ and ‘Yukon Gold’ were good hosts (RF > 14) for G. ellingtonae. Potato varieties ‘Maris Piper,’ ‘Atlantic,’ and ‘Satina,’ all which contain the Ro1 gene that confers resistance to G. rostochiensis, were not hosts for G. ellingtonae. In in vitro hatching assays, G. ellingtonae hatched readily in the presence of diffusates from potato (PRD) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum; TRD). Egg hatch occurred in an average of between 87% and 90% of exposed cysts, with an average of between 144 and 164 juveniles emerging per cyst, from PRD- and TRD-treated cysts, respectively. This nematode hatched rapidly in the presence of PRD and TRD, with at least 66% of total hatch occurring by day 3 of exposure. There was no dose-response of egg hatch to concentrations of PRD or TRD ranging from 1:5 to 1:100 diffusate to water. When G. ellingtonae was exposed to root diffusates from 21 different plants, hatch occurred in 0% to 70% of exposed cysts, with an average of between 0 to 27 juveniles emerging per cyst. When root diffusate-exposed cysts were subsequently transferred to PRD to test viability, root diffusates from arugula (Eruca sativa), sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor subsp. drummondii), and common vetch (Vicia sativa) continued to inhibit egg hatch compared with the other root diffusates or water in which hatch occurred readily (60 to 182 juveniles emerging per cyst). Previously known hatching stimulants of G. rostochiensis and G. pallida, sodium metavanadate, sodium orthovanadate, and sodium thiocyanate, stimulated some egg hatch. Although, Globodera ellingtonae hatched readily in PRD and TRD and reproduced on potato, the pathogenicity of this nematode on potato remains to be determined.
behavior; diffusates; Globodera; hatching; potato; resistance; tomato
Vitamin C (l-ascorbate, AsA) is an essential nutrient required in key metabolic functions in humans and must be obtained from the diet, mainly from fruits and vegetables. Given its importance in human health and plant physiology we sought to examine the role of the ascorbate recycling enzymes monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), an economically important fruit crop. Cytosolic-targeted tomato genes Mdhar and Dhar were cloned and over-expressed under a constitutive promoter in tomato var. Micro-Tom. Lines with increased protein levels and enzymatic activity were identified and examined. Mature green and red ripe fruit from DHAR over-expressing lines had a 1.6 fold increase in AsA content in plants grown under relatively low light conditions (150 µmol m−2 s−1). Conversely, MDHAR over-expressers had significantly reduced AsA levels in mature green fruits by 0.7 fold. Neither over-expressing line had altered levels of AsA in foliar tissues. These results underscore a complex regulation of the AsA pool size in tomato.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is one of the world’s most important vegetable crops. Managing the health of this crop can be particularly challenging; crop resistance may be overcome by new pathogen races while new pathogens have been introduced by global agricultural markets. Tomato is extensively used as a model plant for resistance studies and much has been attained through both genetic and biotechnological approaches. In this paper, we illustrate genomic methods currently employed to preserve resistant germplasm and to facilitate the study and transfer of resistance genes, and we describe the genomic organization of R-genes. Patterns of gene activation during disease resistance response, identified through functional approaches, are depicted. We also describe the opportunities offered by the use of new genomic technologies, including high-throughput DNA sequencing, large-scale expression data production and the comparative hybridization technique, whilst reporting multifaceted approaches to achieve genetic tomato disease control. Future strategies combining the huge amount of genomic and genetic data will be able to accelerate development of novel resistance varieties sustainably on a worldwide basis. Such strategies are discussed in the context of the latest insights obtained in this field.
Solanum lycopersicum; Disease resistance; Genomic tools; Emerging technologies; New breeding methods
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is an important vegetable crop worldwide. Often times, its production is hindered by fungal diseases. Important fungal diseases limiting tomato production are late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, early blight, caused by Alternaria solanii, and septoria leaf spot, caused by Septoria lycopersici, fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporium fsp. oxysporium, and verticilium wilt caused by Verticilium dahlea. The Phytophthora infestans is the same fungus that caused the devastating loss of potato in Europe in 1845. A similar magnitude of crop loss in tomato has not occurred but Phytophthora infestans has caused the complete loss of tomato crops around the world on a small scale. Several attempts have been made through conventional breeding and the molecular biological approaches to understand the biology of host-pathogen interaction so that the disease can be managed and crop loss prevented. In this review, we present a comprehensive analysis of information produced by molecular genetic and genomic experiments on host-pathogen interactions of late blight, early blight, septoria leaf spot, verticilim wilt and fusarium wilt in tomato. Furthermore, approaches adopted to manage these diseases in tomato including genetic transformation are presented. Attempts made to link molecular markers with putative genes and their use in crop improvement are discussed.
Comparative genomics; functional genomics; genomics; QTL analysis; Solanum lycopersicum; tomato.
In a previous study, anthocyanin levels in potato plants were increased by manipulating genes connected with the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway. However, starch content and tuber yield were dramatically reduced in the transgenic plants, which over-expressed dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR).
Transgenic plants over-expressing dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) were subsequently transformed with the cDNA coding for the glycosyltransferase (UGT) of Solanum sogarandinum in order to obtain plants with a high anthocyanin content without reducing tuber yield and quality. Based on enzyme studies, the recombinant UGT is a 7-O-glycosyltransferase whose natural substrates include both anthocyanidins and flavonols such as kaempferol and quercetin. In the super-transformed plants, tuber production was much higher than in the original transgenic plants bearing only the transgene coding for DFR, and was almost the same as in the control plants. The anthocyanin level was lower than in the initial plants, but still higher than in the control plants. Unexpectedly, the super-transformed plants also produced large amounts of kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid, sinapic acid and proanthocyanins.
In plants over-expressing both the transgene for DFR and the transgene for UGT, the synthesis of phenolic acids was diverted away from the anthocyanin branch. This represents a novel approach to manipulating phenolic acids synthesis in plants.
Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is a member of the Solanaceae family. In spite of its widespread cultivation and nutritional and economic importance, its genome has not as yet been extensively investigated. Few analyses have been carried out to determine the genetic diversity of eggplant at the DNA level, and linkage relationships have not been well characterised. As for the other Solanaceae crop species (potato, tomato and pepper), the level of intra-specific polymorphism appears to be rather limited, and so it is important that an effort is made to develop more informative DNA markers to make progress in understanding the genetics of eggplant and to advance its breeding. The aim of the present work was to develop a set of functional microsatellite (SSR) markers, via an in silico analysis of publicly available DNA sequence.
From >3,300 genic DNA sequences, 50 SSR-containing candidates suitable for primer design were recovered. Of these, 39 were functional, and were then applied to a panel of 44 accessions, of which 38 were cultivated eggplant varieties, and six were from related Solanum species. The usefulness of the SSR assays for diversity analysis and taxonomic discrimination was demonstrated by constructing a phylogeny based on SSR polymorphisms, and by the demonstration that most were also functional when tested with template from tomato, pepper and potato. As a results of BLASTN analyses, several eggplant SSRs were found to have homologous counterparts in the phylogenetically related species, which carry microsatellite motifs in the same position.
The set of eggplant EST-SSR markers was informative for phylogenetic analysis and genetic mapping. Since EST-SSRs lie within expressed sequence, they have the potential to serve as perfect markers for genes determining variation in phenotype. Their high level of transferability to other Solanaceae species can be used to provide anchoring points for the integration of genetic maps across species.
Cytokinins (CKs) are thought to play important roles in fruit development, especially cell division. However, the mechanisms and regulation of CK activity have not been well investigated. This study analysed CK concentrations and expression of genes involved in CK metabolism in developing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) ovaries. The concentrations of CK ribosides and isopentenyladenine and the transcript levels of the CK biosynthetic genes SlIPT3, SlIPT4, SlLOG6, and SlLOG8 were high at anthesis and decreased immediately afterward. In contrast, trans-zeatin concentration and the transcript levels of the CK biosynthetic genes SlIPT1, SlIPT2, SlCYP735A1, SlCYP735A2, and SlLOG2 increased after anthesis. The expression of type-A response regulator genes was high in tomato ovaries from pre-anthesis to early post-anthesis stages. These results suggest that the CK signal transduction pathway is active in the cell division phase of fruit development. This study also investigated the effect of CK application on fruit set and development. Application of a synthetic CK, N-(2-chloro-pyridin-4-yl)-N’-phenylurea (CPPU), to unpollinated tomato ovaries induced parthenocarpic fruit development. The CPPU-induced parthenocarpic fruits were smaller than pollinated fruits, because of reduction of pericarp cell size rather than reduced cell number. Thus, CPPU-induced parthenocarpy was attributable to the promotion of cell division, not cell expansion. Overall, the results provide evidence that CKs are involved in cell division during development of tomato fruit.
CPPU; cytokinin; fruit development; Micro-Tom; parthenocarpy; tomato
Subtelomeric domains immediately adjacent to telomeres represent one of the most dynamic and rapidly evolving regions in eukaryotic genomes. A common feature associated with subtelomeric regions in different eukaryotes is the presence of long arrays of tandemly repeated satellite sequences. However, studies on molecular organization and evolution of subtelomeric repeats are rare. We isolated two subtelomeric repeats, CL14 and CL34, from potato (Solanum tuberosum). The CL14 and CL34 repeats are organized as independent long arrays, up to 1-3 Mb, of 182 bp and 339 bp monomers, respectively. The CL14 and CL34 repeat arrays are directly connected with the telomeric repeats at some chromosomal ends. The CL14 repeat was detected at the subtelomeric regions among highly diverged Solanum species, including tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). In contrast, CL34 was only found in potato and its closely related species. Interestingly, the CL34 repeat array was always proximal to the telomeres when both CL14 and CL34 were found at the same chromosomal end. In addition, the CL34 repeat family showed more sequence variability among monomers compared with the CL14 repeat family. We conclude that the CL34 repeat family emerged recently from the subtelomeric regions of potato chromosomes and is rapidly evolving. These results provide further evidence that subtelomeric domains are among the most dynamic regions in eukaryotic genomes.
A large number of plant microRNAs (miRNAs) are now documented in the miRBase, among which only 30 are for Solanum lycopersicum (tomato). Clearly, there is a far-reaching need to identify and profile the expression of miRNAs in this important crop under various physiological and pathological conditions. In this study, we used an in situ synthesized custom microarray of plant miRNAs to examine the expression and temporal presence of miRNAs in the leaves of tomato plants infected with Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). Following computational sequence homology search and hairpin structure prediction, we identified three novel tomato miRNA precursor genes. Our results also show that, in accordance with the phenotype of the developing leaves, the tomato miRNAs are differentially expressed at different stages of plant development and that CMV infection can induce or suppress the expression of miRNAs as well as up-regulate some star miRNAs (miRNA*s) which are normally present at much lower levels. The results indicate that developmental anomalies elicited by virus infection may be caused by more complex biological processes.
Solanum lycopersicum; Plant miRNA; Cucumber mosaic virus; miRNA array; miRNA response
Potato is the world's fourth largest food crop yet it continues to endure late blight, a devastating disease caused by the Irish famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Breeding broad-spectrum disease resistance (R) genes into potato (Solanum tuberosum) is the best strategy for genetically managing late blight but current approaches are slow and inefficient. We used a repertoire of effector genes predicted computationally from the P. infestans genome to accelerate the identification, functional characterization, and cloning of potentially broad-spectrum R genes. An initial set of 54 effectors containing a signal peptide and a RXLR motif was profiled for activation of innate immunity (avirulence or Avr activity) on wild Solanum species and tentative Avr candidates were identified. The RXLR effector family IpiO induced hypersensitive responses (HR) in S. stoloniferum, S. papita and the more distantly related S. bulbocastanum, the source of the R gene Rpi-blb1. Genetic studies with S. stoloniferum showed cosegregation of resistance to P. infestans and response to IpiO. Transient co-expression of IpiO with Rpi-blb1 in a heterologous Nicotiana benthamiana system identified IpiO as Avr-blb1. A candidate gene approach led to the rapid cloning of S. stoloniferum Rpi-sto1 and S. papita Rpi-pta1, which are functionally equivalent to Rpi-blb1. Our findings indicate that effector genomics enables discovery and functional profiling of late blight R genes and Avr genes at an unprecedented rate and promises to accelerate the engineering of late blight resistant potato varieties.
Tomato is a model and economically important crop plant with little information available about gene expression in roots. Currently, there have only been a few studies that examine hormonal responses in tomato roots and none at a genome-wide level. This study examined the transcriptome atlas of tomato root regions (root tip, lateral roots, and whole roots) and the transcriptional regulation of each root region in response to the plant hormones cytokinin and auxin using Illumina RNA sequencing. More than 165 million 1×54 base pair reads were mapped onto the Solanum lycopersicum reference genome and differential expression patterns in each root region in response to each hormone were assessed. Many novel cytokinin- and auxin-induced and -repressed genes were identified as significantly differentially expressed and the expression levels of several were confirmed by qPCR. A number of these regulated genes represent tomato orthologues of cytokinin- or auxin-regulated genes identified in other species, including CKXs, type-A RRs, Aux/IAAs, and ARFs. Additionally, the data confirm some of the hormone regulation studies for recently examined genes in tomato such as SlIAAs and SlGH3s. Moreover, genes expressed abundantly in each root region were identified which provide a spatial distribution of many classes of genes, including plant defence, secondary metabolite production, and general metabolism across the root. Overall this study presents the first global expression patterns of hormone-regulated transcripts in tomato roots, which will be functionally relevant for future studies directed towards tomato root growth and development.
Auxin; cytokinin; lateral root; RNA sequencing; root; root tip; tomato.
Yield is the most important breeding trait of crops. For fruit-bearing plants such as Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), fruit formation directly affects yield. The final fruit size depends on the number and volume of cell layers in the pericarp of the fruit, which is determined by the degree of cell division and expansion in the fertilized ovaries. Thus, fruit yield in tomato is predominantly determined by the efficiency of fruit set and the final cell number and size of the fruits. Through domestication, tomato fruit yield has been markedly increased as a result of mutations associated with fruit size and genetic studies have identified the genes that influence the cell cycle, carpel number and fruit set. Additionally, several lines of evidence have demonstrated that plant hormones control fruit set and size through the delicate regulation of genes that trigger physiological responses associated with fruit expansion. In this review, we introduce the key genes involved in tomato breeding and describe how they affect the physiological processes that contribute to tomato yield.
fruit size; tomato; parthenocarpy; plant hormones; yield
Searching thoroughly for plant cis-elements corresponding to transcription factors is worthwhile to reveal novel gene activation cascades. At the same time, a great deal of research is currently focused on epigenetic events in plants. A widely used method serving both purposes is chromatin immunoprecipitation, which was developed for Arabidopsis and other plants but is not yet operational for tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), a model plant species for a group of economically important crops.
We developed a chromatin immunoprecipitation protocol suitable for tomato by adjusting the parameters to optimise in vivo crosslinking, purification of nuclei, chromatin extraction, DNA shearing and precipitate analysis using real-time PCR. Results were obtained with two different antibodies, five control loci and two normalisation criteria.
Here we provide a chromatin immunoprecipitation procedure for tomato leaves that could be combined with high-throughput sequencing to generate a detailed map of epigenetic modifications or genome-wide nucleosome positioning data.
Yield losses as a result of abiotic stress factors present a significant challenge for the future of global food production. While breeding technologies provide potential to combat negative stress-mediated outcomes over time, interventions which act to prime plant tolerance to stress, via the use of phytohormone-based elicitors for example, could act as a valuable tool for crop protection. However, the translation of fundamental biology into functioning solution is often constrained by knowledge-gaps.
Photosynthetic and transcriptomic responses were characterised in young tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings in response to pre-treatment with a new plant health activator technology, ‘Alethea’, followed by a subsequent 100 mM salinity stress. Alethea is a novel proprietary technology composed of three key constituent compounds; the hitherto unexplored compound potassium dihydrojasmonate, an analogue of jasmonic acid; sodium benzoate, a carboxylic acid precursor to salicylic acid, and the α-amino acid L-arginine. Salinity treatment led to a maximal 47% reduction in net photosynthetic rate 8 d following NaCl treatment, yet in Alethea pre-treated seedlings, sensitivity to salinity stress was markedly reduced during the experimental period. Microarray analysis of leaf transcriptional responses showed that while salinity stress and Alethea individually impacted on largely non-overlapping, distinct groups of genes, Alethea pre-treatment substantially modified the response to salinity. Alethea affected the expression of genes related to biotic stress, ethylene signalling, cell wall synthesis, redox signalling and photosynthetic processes. Since Alethea had clear effects on photosynthesis/chloroplastic function at the physiological and molecular levels, we also investigated the ability of Alethea to protect various crop species against methyl viologen, a potent generator of oxidative stress in chloroplasts. Alethea pre-treatment produced dramatic reductions in visible foliar necrosis caused by methyl viologen compared with non-primed controls.
‘Alethea’ technology mediates positive recovery of abiotic stress-induced photosynthetic and foliar loss of performance, which is accompanied by altered transcriptional responses to stress.
Photosynthesis; Abiotic stress; Priming; Tomato; Transcriptomics; Potassium dihydrojasmonate; Sodium benzoate; L-arginine