Main content area

The Solanum melongena COP1 delays fruit ripening and influences ethylene signaling in tomato

Naeem, Muhammad, Muqarab, Rafia, Waseem, Muhammad
Journal of plant physiology 2019 v.240 pp. 152997
1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum melongena, abiotic stress, biosynthesis, biotic stress, carotenoids, chlorophyll, ethylene, ethylene production, fruits, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, hypocotyls, leaves, photomorphogenesis, phytoene synthase, regulatory proteins, ripening, seedlings, tomatoes
The regulatory protein CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC (COP) 1 is a key repressor of photomorphogenesis; it regulates numerous developmental processes and responds to biotic and abiotic stress in plants. Here, we report the role of a novel and uncharacterized Solanum melongena COP1 (SmCOP1) gene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) during fruit ripening. It was observed that SmCOP1 expressed in mature leaves and fruits, while the transcripts of SmCOP1 increased significantly with the onset of fruit ripening in tomato. To further understand the SmCOP1 function, an overexpression (OE) vector carrying SmCOP1 gene was constructed and transformed into tomato plants. The OE of SmCOP1 delays fruit ripening by about three to six days compared to the wild-type (WT) fruits. SmCOP1-OE fruits decreased while seedlings increased their ethylene production in comparison with the WT. Moreover, the ethylene biosynthesis genes (ACO1, ACO3, and ACS2) and ethylene inducible genes (E4 and E8), which participate in tomato fruit ripening, were suppressed. The carotenoid accumulation and expression level of carotenoid biosynthesis genes such as phytoene synthase 1 (PSY1), phytoene desaturase, (PDS), and zeta-carotene desaturase (ZDS) were also reduced in OE fruits. Additionally, total chlorophyll contents were reduced, and expression of chlorophyll biosynthesis genes were significantly down-regulated in SmCOP1-OE lines. The SmCOP1-OE seedlings showed shorter hypocotyl lengths and were more sensitive to 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) than were WT seedlings. In summary, SmCOP1-OE plays a pivotal role in the inhibition of tomato fruit ripening, reducing carotenoid contents and lowering ethylene production in fruits.