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Keywords:

  • abscisic acid (ABA);
  • fruit development and ripening;
  • signal;
  • strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa);
  • sucrose;
  • sucrose transporter

Summary

  • Fleshy fruits are classically divided into climacteric and nonclimacteric types. It has long been thought that the ripening of climacteric and nonclimacteric fruits is regulated by ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA), respectively. Here, we report that sucrose functions as a signal in the ripening of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa), a nonclimacteric fruit.
  • Pharmacological experiments, as well as gain- and loss-of-function studies, were performed to demonstrate the critical role of sucrose in the regulation of fruit ripening.
  • Fruit growth and development were closely correlated with a change in sucrose content. Exogenous sucrose and its nonmetabolizable analog, turanose, induced ABA accumulation in fruit and accelerated dramatically fruit ripening. A set of sucrose transporters, FaSUT1–7, was identified and characterized, among which FaSUT1 was found to be a major component responsible for sucrose accumulation during fruit development. RNA interference-induced silencing of FaSUT1 led to a decrease in both sucrose and ABA content, and arrested fruit ripening. By contrast, overexpression of FaSUT1 led to an increase in both sucrose and ABA content, and accelerated fruit ripening.
  • In conclusion, this study demonstrates that sucrose is an important signal in the regulation of strawberry fruit ripening.