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Organization and expression of polygalacturonase and other ripening related genes in Ailsa Craig "Neverripe" and "Ripening inhibitor" tomato mutants

Knapp, J., Moureau, P., Schuch, W., Grierson, D.
Plant molecular biology 1989 v.12 no.1 pp. 105-116
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, mutants, ripening, polygalacturonase, genes, gene expression, messenger RNA, ethylene, restriction mapping, promoter regions, mutation
The organization and expression of ripening-related genes were investigated in normal tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Ailsa Craig) and in Neverripe (Nr) and Ripening inhibitor (rin) mutants. Hybridization studies with ripening-related cDNA clones showed that the gene for polygalacturonase (PG) is barely expressed in rin and expressed at a low level in Nr fruit. Four other genes were found to be expressed at reduced levels in rin. Exogenous ethylene was able to restore higher levels of expression of all the genes showing reduced expression in rin except that for PG. However, exogenous ethylene did not restore normal ripening in rin fruit. Analysis of chromosomal DNA by Southern blotting indicated that all the genes studied, including the PG gene, and also an upstream promoter of the PG gene, are present in the rin and Nr genomes and appear to be arranged in a similar way to those in normal tomatoes. The results are discussed in the light of the suggestion that these mutations may involve part of the regulatory apparatus leading to the expression of ripening genes such as PG.