Crop Biotech Update

MADS-box Gene SlMBP11 Regulates Plant Architecture and Reproductive Development in Tomato

March 22, 2017

MADS-domain proteins are important transcription factors involved in several biological processes of plants. The team of Xuhu Guo from Chongqing University in China aimed to study SlMBP11, a member of the AGL15 subfamily, by expressing in tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) plants.

SlMBP11 is found to be expressed in all of the tissues examined, with the highest levels being in reproductive tissues. Plants with increased SlMBP11 levels displayed reduced plant height, leaf size, and internode length. These plants also showed highly branched growth from each leaf axil and increased number of nodes and leaves.

Furthermore, overexpression lines also exhibited reproductive phenotypes, such as shorter styles and split ovaries, leading to polycarpous fruits, while wildtypes showed normal floral organization. Delayed perianth senescence was also observed in transgenic tomatoes.

These results reveal that SlMBP11 plays a role in regulating plant architecture and reproductive development in tomato plants.

For more information on this study, read the article in Plant Science.