Role of the tomato TAGL1 gene in regulating fruit metabolites elucidated using RNA sequence and metabolomics analyses

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Abstract

Fruit ripening is a complex biological process affecting fruit quality. In tomato the fruit ripening process is delicately regulated by transcription factors (TFs). Among these, the TOMATO AGAMOUS-LIKE 1 (TAGL1) gene plays an important role in both the development and ripening of fruit. In this study, the TAGL1 gene was successfully silenced by virusinduced gene silencing technology (VIGS), and the global gene expression and metabolites profiles of TAGL1-silenced fruits were analyzed by RNA-sequence analysis (RNA-seq) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The TAGL1-silenced fruits phenotypically displayed an orange pericarp, which was in accordance with the results expected from the down-regulation of genes associated with carotenoid synthesis. Levels of several amino acids and organic acids were lower in the TAGL1-silenced fruits than in the wild-type fruits, whereas, α-tomatine content was greatly increased (more than 10-fold) in the TAGL1- silenced fruits compared to wild-type fruits. The findings of this study showed that TAGL1 not only regulates the ripening of tomato fruits, but also affects the synthesis and levels of nutrients in the fruit.

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Zhao, X., Yuan, X., Chen, S., Meng, L., & Fu, D. (2018). Role of the tomato TAGL1 gene in regulating fruit metabolites elucidated using RNA sequence and metabolomics analyses. PLoS ONE, 13(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199083

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