Silencing of the SLPL gene in tomato causes enhanced fruit firmness and prolonged shelf-life

Pectate lyase genes are known to be potential candidates for enhancing the firmness of fruits. However, the potential of these genes to increase the shelf life of fruits after harvesting has not been fully investigated. In a recently published article in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, a team of scientists with leading researcher Lu Yang and corresponding author Zhengguo Li from the Chongqing University in China identified 22 pectate lyase genes in tomato. One of these genes SLPL exhibiting dominant expression during fruit maturation was used in gene silencing experiments. The resulting plants with suppressed expression of this gene showed increased fruit firmness, greater anti-rotting and pathogen resistance. Compared to the wild type, the resulting plants possess increased cellulose and hemicellulose levels, whereas the levels of water-soluble pectin are decreased. Accordingly, increased activity of the enzymes peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase is observed. Generally, in plants with suppressed expression of the SLPL gene, high levels of differentially expressing genes involved in hormone signaling, cell wall modification, oxidative stress and resistance to pathogens were observed. The results obtained show that the pectal lyase genes are essential for the softening of fruits and the resistance to pathogens, which can be used to enhance the shelf-life of tomatoes and other fleshy fruit after harvesting.


Source: Crop Biotech Update

Reference article:

Yang, L., Huang, W., Xiong, F., Xian, Z., Su, D., Ren, M. and Li, Z. (2017) Silencing of SlPL, which encodes a pectate lyase in tomato, confers enhanced fruit firmness, prolonged shelf-life and reduced susceptibility to grey mould. Plant Biotechnol. J.,

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPrint this page