Main content area

Variations on a theme in fruit development: the PLE lineage of MADS-box genes in tomato (TAGL1) and other species

Garceau, Danielle C., Batson, Megan K., Pan, Irvin L.
Planta 2017 v.246 no.2 pp. 313-321
Antirrhinum, Arabidopsis, Nicotiana, Petunia, biosynthesis, carotenoids, cell cycle, dehiscence, ethylene, flavonoids, fruiting, fruits, genes, lignification, lignin, ripening, signal transduction, tomatoes, transcription factors
MAIN CONCLUSION: This article focuses on the role of TOMATO AGAMOUS-LIKE 1 (TAGL1) on a wide range of ripening functions in tomato. We also examine orthologs of this gene in related species that produce different fruit types and discuss some evolutionary implications. TOMATO AGAMOUS-LIKE 1 (TAGL1) is a MADS-box transcription factor gene that belongs to the PLENA (PLE) lineage within the AGAMOUS (AG) clade. The most well-studied genes in this lineage are the SHATTERPROOF (SHP) genes in Arabidopsis, known to be involved in dehiscence zone formation during silique development. In tomato, TAGL1 has been shown to control several aspects of tomato fruit ripening. Most notably, carotenoid synthesis seems to be controlled by TAGL1, likely via the ethylene synthesis and signaling pathway and in combination with RIPENING INHIBITOR (RIN). In addition, TAGL1 regulates genes involved in cell cycle regulation, flavonoid and lignin biosynthesis, and cuticle development. We discuss many of the genes in these different pathways that are likely controlled by TAGL1, directly or indirectly. We also examine the relationship of TAGL1 with known and putative interaction partners. PLE lineage genes have also been examined in other species such as Antirrhinum, Petunia, and Nicotiana and provide an interesting example of conservation and diversification of function in species that produce very different types of fleshy and dry fruits. The control of lignification may be a common mechanism for this group of genes. Lastly, we discuss future work needed to elucidate the TAGL1 regulatory pathway in tomato and to help better understand the functional diversification of genes in this lineage in related species.