Identification and functional study of a mild allele of SlDELLA gene conferring the potential for improved yield in tomato.
Parthenocarpy, or pollination-independent fruit set, is an attractive trait for fruit production and can be induced by increased responses to the phytohormone gibberellin (GA), which regulates diverse aspects of plant development. GA signaling in plants is negatively regulated by DELLA proteins. A loss-of-function mutant of tomato DELLA (SlDELLA), procera (pro) thus exhibits enhanced GA-response phenotypes including parthenocarpy, although the pro mutation also confers some disadvantages for practical breeding. This study identified a new milder hypomorphic allele of SlDELLA, procera-2 (pro-2), which showed weaker GA-response phenotypes than pro. The pro-2 mutant contains a single nucleotide substitution, corresponding to a single amino acid substitution in the SAW subdomain of the SlDELLA. Accumulation of the mutated SlDELLA transcripts in wild-type (WT) resulted in parthenocarpy, while introduction of intact SlDELLA into pro-2 rescued mutant phenotypes. Yeast two-hybrid assays revealed that SlDELLA interacted with three tomato homologues of GID1 GA receptors with increasing affinity upon GA treatment, while their interactions were reduced by the pro and pro-2 mutations. Both pro and pro-2 mutants produced higher fruit yields under high temperature conditions, which were resulted from higher fruit set efficiency, demonstrating the potential for genetic parthenocarpy to improve yield under adverse environmental conditions.
Shinozaki, Y; Ezura, K; Hu, J; Okabe, Y; Bénard, C; Prodhomme, D; Gibon, Y; Sun, T-P; Ezura, H; Ariizumi, T
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