The chimeric repressor version of an Ethylene Response Factor (ERF) family member, Sl-ERF.B3, shows contrasting effects on tomato fruit ripening

Authors

  • Mingchun Liu,

    1. Université de Toulouse, INP-ENSA Toulouse, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Castanet-Tolosan, France
    2. INRA, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Chemin de Borde Rouge, Castanet-Tolosan, France
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  • Gianfranco Diretto,

    1. ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development), Green Biotechnology Laboratory, Rome, Italy
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  • Julien Pirrello,

    1. Université de Toulouse, INP-ENSA Toulouse, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Castanet-Tolosan, France
    2. INRA, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Chemin de Borde Rouge, Castanet-Tolosan, France
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  • Jean-Paul Roustan,

    1. Université de Toulouse, INP-ENSA Toulouse, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Castanet-Tolosan, France
    2. INRA, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Chemin de Borde Rouge, Castanet-Tolosan, France
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  • Zhengguo Li,

    1. School of Life Sciences, Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, China
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  • Giovanni Giuliano,

    1. ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development), Green Biotechnology Laboratory, Rome, Italy
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  • Farid Regad,

    1. Université de Toulouse, INP-ENSA Toulouse, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Castanet-Tolosan, France
    2. INRA, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Chemin de Borde Rouge, Castanet-Tolosan, France
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  • Mondher Bouzayen

    Corresponding author
    1. Université de Toulouse, INP-ENSA Toulouse, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Castanet-Tolosan, France
    2. INRA, Génomique et Biotechnologie des Fruits, Chemin de Borde Rouge, Castanet-Tolosan, France
    • Author for correspondence:

      Mondher Bouzayen

      Tel: +33 (0)534323871

      Email: bouzayen@ensat.fr

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Summary

  • Fruit ripening involves a complex interplay between ethylene and ripening-associated transcriptional regulators. Ethylene Response Factors (ERFs) are downstream components of ethylene signaling, known to regulate the expression of ethylene-responsive genes. Although fruit ripening is an ethylene-regulated process, the role of ERFs remains poorly understood.
  • The role of Sl-ERF.B3 in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit maturation and ripening is addressed here using a chimeric dominant repressor version (ERF.B3-SRDX).
  • Over-expression of ERF.B3-SRDX results in a dramatic delay of the onset of ripening, enhanced climacteric ethylene production and fruit softening, and reduced pigment accumulation. Consistently, genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis and in softening are up-regulated and those of carotenoid biosynthesis are down-regulated. Moreover, the expression of ripening regulators, such as RIN, NOR, CNR and HB-1, is stimulated in ERF.B3-SRDX dominant repressor fruits and the expression pattern of a number of ERFs is severely altered.
  • The data suggest the existence of a complex network enabling interconnection between ERF genes which may account for the pleiotropic alterations in fruit maturation and ripening. Overall, the study sheds new light on the role of Sl-ERF.B3 in the transcriptional network controlling the ripening process and uncovers a means towards uncoupling some of the main ripening-associated processes.

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