Crop Biotech Update

Tomato Transcription Factor Influences Lateral Bud Formation in Tomato

April 11, 2018

Many studies suggest that GRAS transcription factors act as regulators in plant growth and development as well as in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. While several GRAS proteins have been identified, only a few have been studied in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Chongqing University's Shengen Zhou led a team of scientists and studied a novel GRAS transcription factor SlGRAS26, in hopes of learning about its roles in tomato.

Downregulation of SlGRAS26 resulted in transgenic plants with reduced plant height with more lateral shoots, accelerated flowering transition, and decreased trichome number. Analysis revealed that downregulation of SlGRAS26 altered tomato's vegetative growth by suppressing gibberellin (GA) synthesis genes and activating the GA-inactivating genes, resulting in reduced endogenous GA content in the transgenic plants.

These results suggest that SlGRAS26 may play a role in the initiation of lateral and inflorescence meristems in tomato.

For more information, read the article in Plant Science.