Title

A naturally occurring epigenetic mutation in a gene encoding an SBP-box transcription factor inhibits tomato fruit ripening

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Manning, K, Tor, M, Poole, M, Hong, Y, Thompson, AJ, King, GJ, Giovannoni, JJ, Seymour, GB 2006, 'A naturally occurring epigenetic mutation in a gene encoding an SBP-box transcription factor inhibits tomato fruit ripening', Nature Genetics, vol. 38, no. 8, pp. 948-952.

The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng1841

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

A major component in the regulatory network controlling fruit ripening is likely to be the gene at the tomato Colorless non-ripening (Cnr) locus. The Cnr mutation results in colorless fruits with a substantial loss of cell-to-cell adhesion. The nature of the mutation and the identity of the Cnr gene were previously unknown. Using positional cloning and virus-induced gene silencing, here we demonstrate that an SBP-box (SQUAMOSA promoter binding protein-like) gene resides at the Cnr locus. Furthermore, the Cnr phenotype results from a spontaneous epigenetic change in the SBP-box promoter. The discovery that Cnr is an epimutation was unexpected, as very few spontaneous epimutations have been described in plants. This study demonstrates that an SBP-box gene is critical for normal ripening and highlights the likely importance of epialleles in plant development and the generation of natural variation.