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PLOS ONE  2014 

A Non-Climacteric Fruit Gene CaMADS-RIN Regulates Fruit Ripening and Ethylene Biosynthesis in Climacteric Fruit

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095559

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MADS-box genes have been reported to play a major role in the molecular circuit of developmental regulation. Especially, SEPALLATA (SEP) group genes play a central role in the developmental regulation of ripening in both climacteric and non-climacteric fruits. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of SEP genes to non-climacteric fruits ripening are still unclear. Here a SEP gene of pepper, CaMADS-RIN, has been cloned and exhibited elevated expression at the onset of ripening of pepper. To further explore the function of CaMADS-RIN, an overexpressed construct was created and transformed into ripening inhibitor (rin) mutant tomato plants. Broad ripening phenotypes were observed in CaMADS-RIN overexpressed rin fruits. The accumulation of carotenoid and expression of PDS and ZDS were enhanced in overexpressed fruits compared with rin mutant. The transcripts of cell wall metabolism genes (PG, EXP1 and TBG4) and lipoxygenase genes (TomloxB and TomloxC) accumulated more abundant compared to rin mutant. Besides, both ethylene-dependent genes including ACS2, ACO1, E4 and E8 and ethylene-independent genes such as HDC and Nor were also up-regulated in transgenic fruits at different levels. Moreover, transgenic fruits showed approximately 1–3 times increase in ethylene production compared with rin mutant fruits. Yeast two-hybrid screen results indicated that CaMADS-RIN could interact with TAGL1, FUL1 and itself respectively as SlMADS-RIN did in vitro. These results suggest that CaMADS-RIN affects fruit ripening of tomato both in ethylene-dependent and ethylene-independent aspects, which will provide a set of significant data to explore the role of SEP genes in ripening of non-climacteric fruits.


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