3 years ago

Fruit weight is controlled by <i>Cell Size Regulator</i> encoding a novel protein that is expressed in maturing tomato fruits

Alexis Ramos, Xiaoxi Liu, Manohar Chakrabarti, Yanping Wang, Zejun Huang, Qi Mu, Esther van der Knaap, Eudald Illa-Berenguer

by Qi Mu, Zejun Huang, Manohar Chakrabarti, Eudald Illa-Berenguer, Xiaoxi Liu, Yanping Wang, Alexis Ramos, Esther van der Knaap

Increases in fruit weight of cultivated vegetables and fruits accompanied the domestication of these crops. Here we report on the positional cloning of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) controlling fruit weight in tomato. The derived allele of Cell Size Regulator (CSR-D) increases fruit weight predominantly through enlargement of the pericarp areas. The expanded pericarp tissues result from increased mesocarp cell size and not from increased number of cell layers. The effect of CSR on fruit weight and cell size is found across different genetic backgrounds implying a consistent impact of the locus on the trait. In fruits, CSR expression is undetectable early in development from floral meristems to the rapid cell proliferation stage after anthesis. Expression is low but detectable in growing fruit tissues and in or around vascular bundles coinciding with the cell enlargement stage of the fruit maturation process. CSR encodes an uncharacterized protein whose clade has expanded in the Solanaceae family. The mutant allele is predicted to encode a shorter protein due to a 1.4 kb deletion resulting in a 194 amino-acid truncation. Co-expression analyses and GO term enrichment analyses suggest association of CSR with cell differentiation in fruit tissues and vascular bundles. The derived allele arose in Solanum lycopersicum var cerasiforme and appears completely fixed in many cultivated tomato’s market classes. This finding suggests that the selection of this allele was critical to the full domestication of tomato from its intermediate ancestors.

Publisher URL: http://feeds.plos.org/~r/plosgenetics/NewArticles/~3/Smui4jsKPuc/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006930

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