Author(s): Petit J, Bres C, Mauxion JP, Tai FW, Martin LB,
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Abstract The thick cuticle covering and embedding the epidermal cells of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit acts not only as a protective barrier against pathogens and water loss but also influences quality traits such as brightness and postharvest shelf-life. In a recent study, we screened a mutant collection of the miniature tomato cultivar Micro-Tom and isolated several glossy fruit mutants in which the abundance of cutin, the polyester component of the cuticle, was strongly reduced. We employed a newly developed mapping-by-sequencing strategy to identify the causal mutation underlying the cutin deficiency in a mutant thereafter named gpat6-a (for glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase6). To this end, a backcross population (BC1F2) segregating for the glossy trait was phenotyped. Individuals displaying either a wild-type or a glossy fruit trait were then pooled into bulked populations and submitted to whole-genome sequencing prior to mutation frequency analysis. This revealed that the causal point mutation in the gpat6-a mutant introduces a charged amino acid adjacent to the active site of a GPAT6 enzyme. We further showed that this mutation completely abolished the GPAT activity of the recombinant protein. The gpat6-a mutant showed perturbed pollen formation but, unlike a gpat6 mutant of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), was not male sterile. The most striking phenotype was observed in the mutant fruit, where cuticle thickness, composition, and properties were altered. RNA sequencing analysis highlighted the main processes and pathways that were affected by the mutation at the transcriptional level, which included those associated with lipid, secondary metabolite, and cell wall biosynthesis. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.
This article was published in Plant Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology