Biotech Updates

Overexpression of Tomato Gene Impacts Agronomic Traits via Regulation of Gibberellin and Auxin Homeostasis

November 9, 2016

In Arabidopsis, the miR171-GRAS module is known as a key player in meristem maintenance. However, its role in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) remains a mystery. To study its role, Chongqing University researchers, led by Wei Huang, generated three types of transgenic tomato plants: plants underexpressing SlGRAS24, plants overexpressing SlGRAS24, and plants overexpressing Sly-miR171.

Plants overexpressing SlGRAS24 (SlGRAS24-OE) had pleiotropic phenotypes associated with multiple agronomic traits including plant height, flowering time, leaf architecture, lateral branch number, root length, fruit set and development. GA/auxin-related genes in SlGRAS24-OE seedlings were also downregulated and had altered responsiveness to indole acetic acid or gibberellic acid application. During anthesis, transcriptome analysis altered the expression of genes involved in pollen development and hormone signaling, leading to compromised fruit set and development.

These results demonstrate that SlGRAS24 participates in developmental processes by modulating gibberellin and auxin signalling.

For more information, read the full article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.