Manipulation of a senescence-associated gene improves fleshy fruit yield

Lira, B. S., Gramegna, G., Trench, B., Alves, F. R. R., Silva, E. M., Silva, G. F. F., Thirumalaikumar, V. P., Lupi, A. C. D., Demarco, D., Purgatto, E., Nogueira, F. T., Balazadeh, S., Freschi, L., Rossi, M. (July 2017) Manipulation of a senescence-associated gene improves fleshy fruit yield. Plant Physiol. ISSN 0032-0889

DOI: 10.1104/pp.17.00452


Senescence is the process that marks the end of leaves lifespan. As it progresses, the massive macromolecular catabolism dismantles the chloroplasts and, consequently, decreases the photosynthetic capacity of these organs. Thus, senescence manipulation is a strategy to improve plant yield by extending the leaf photosynthetically active window of time. However, it remains to be addressed if this approach can improve fleshy fruit production and nutritional quality. One way to delay senescence initiation is by regulating key transcription factors (TFs) involved in triggering this process, such as the NAC TF ORESARA1 (ORE1). Here, three senescence-related NAC TFs from Solanum lycopersicum were identified, namely SlORE1S02, SlORE1S03 and SlORE1S06. All three genes showed to be responsive to senescence-inducing stimuli and post-transcriptionally regulated by the microRNA miR164. Moreover, the encoded proteins physically interacted with the chloroplast maintenance related TF SlGLKs. This characterization led to the selection of a putative tomato ORE1 as target gene for RNAi knockdown. Transgenic lines showed delayed senescence and enhanced carbon assimilation that, ultimately, increased the number of fruits and their total soluble solid content. Additionally, the fruit nutraceutical composition was enhanced. In conclusion, the data provide robust evidence that the manipulation of leaf senescence is an effective strategy for yield improvement in fleshy fruit-bearing species.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > cell types and functions > cell functions > senescence
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Timmermans lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: 14 July 2017
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2017 19:14
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2021 13:33
PMCID: PMC5580748
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