Bypassing Negative Epistasis on Yield in Tomato Imposed by a Domestication Gene

Soyk, Sebastian, Lemmon, Zachary H., Oved, Matan, Fisher, Josef, Liberatore, Katie L., Park, Soon Ju, Goren, Anna, Jiang, Ke, Ramos, Alexis, van der Knaap, Esther, Van Eck, Joyce, Zamir, Dani, Eshed, Yuval, Lippman, Zachary B. (June 2017) Bypassing Negative Epistasis on Yield in Tomato Imposed by a Domestication Gene. Cell, 169 (6). pp. 1142-1155. ISSN 0092-8674

DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.04.032


Selection for inflorescence architecture with improved flower production and yield is common to many domesticated crops. However, tomato inflorescences resemble wild ancestors, and breeders avoided excessive branching because of low fertility. We found branched variants carry mutations in two related transcription factors that were selected independently. One founder mutation enlarged the leaf-like organs on fruits and was selected as fruit size increased during domestication. The other mutation eliminated the flower abscission zone, providing ?jointless? fruit stems that reduced fruit dropping and facilitated mechanical harvesting. Stacking both beneficial traits caused undesirable branching and sterility due to epistasis, which breeders overcame with suppressors. However, this suppression restricted the opportunity for productivity gains from weak branching. Exploiting natural and engineered alleles for multiple family members, we achieved a continuum of inflorescence complexity that allowed breeding of higher-yielding hybrids. Characterizing and neutralizing similar cases of negative epistasis could improve productivity in many agricultural organisms.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function > gene expression
organism description > plant > tomato
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Lippman lab
School of Biological Sciences > Publications
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 1 June 2017
Date Deposited: 19 May 2017 19:56
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 20:45
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