Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Identify Three Genes Involved in Melon Ripening

August 3, 2022

A collaboration between the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) and the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) in Spain and the Institute of Biology of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris has identified the role of three genes in melon ripening, giving insights into the ripening mechanism of the fruit.

Marta Pujol, researcher at IRTA and CRAG, said that melon ripening is a complex process that involves several genes that need to be identified to understand how it works. The researchers worked on cantaloupe, a climacteric variety of melon. Like tomatoes, cantaloupe continues to ripen once it is harvested, and it does so by emitting ethylene.

Using CRISPR-Cas9 to edit melon genes for the first time, the research team identified three genes involved in the climacteric ripening of melon―CmCTR1, CmROS1 and CmNAC-NOR. The researchers caused mutations in the three genes and found that the inhibition of the expression of the first two genes led to accelerated maturation of the fruit. For the third gene, it was observed that one mutation, nor-3, managed to delay ripening by eight days, while another mutation, nor-1, completely blocked it.

For more details, read the article in CRAG News.

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