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Transcription analysis of the ethylene receptor and CTR genes in tomato: The effects of on and off-vine ripening and 1-MCP

Mata, Clara I., Van de Poel, Bram, Hertog, Maarten L.A.T.M., Tran, Dinh, Nicolai, Bart M.
Postharvest biology and technology 2018 v.140 pp. 67-75
1-methylcyclopropene, climacteric fruits, developmental stages, ethylene, gene expression regulation, genes, receptors, ripening, signal transduction, tomatoes, transcription (genetics), vines
Ethylene, the main hormone regulating ripening in climacteric fruit, is perceived by the ethylene receptors starting a cascade of reactions of the ethylene signal transduction. In order to gain insight in the perception of ethylene during the ripening process, this work presents the transcriptional characterisation of the ethylene receptor (ETR) and CTR (CONSTITUTIVE TRIPPLE RESPONSE) genes of tomato fruit at different developmental stages and postharvest ripening conditions. Our results show that both ETR and CTR genes were differentially expressed when comparing on the vine ripening with off the vine (postharvest ripening) and in response to 1-MCP. Expression of the six ethylene receptors revealed SlETR3 and SlETR4 as the most expressed genes and together with SlETR6 to be the most ethylene-responsive, as they were the fastest to react to changes in conditions such as the 1-MCP application in detached fruit ripening off the vine. A climacteric pattern of expression similar to that of ethylene production itself was observed for most of the receptors and CTR genes during ripening, most strongly during postharvest ripening. All together our results suggest a dedicated regulation of the expression of ETRs and CTRs that allows the plant to precisely control the timing of ripening.