The genome of Solanum pennellii, a wild relative of the domestic tomato, has been published by an international group of researchers including the labs headed by Professors Neelima Sinha and Julin Maloof at the UC Davis Department of Plant Biology. The new genome information may help breeders produce tastier, more stress-tolerant tomatoes.
The work, published July 27 in the journal Nature Genetics, was lead by Björn Usadel and colleagues at Aachen University in Germany. The UC Davis labs carried out work on the transcriptome of S. pennellii -- the RNA molecules that are transcribed from DNA and then translated into proteins -- messages written from DNA and taken to other parts of the cell to tell it what to do. Analyzing the RNA transcriptome shows which genes are active under different circumstances. The UC Davis team published a paper last year comparing the RNA transcripts of domestic tomato and three wild relatives, including S. pennellii.
S. pennellii is inedible, but it can be interbred with domestic tomatoes to introduce useful traits, such as drought resistance. Using the new genome data, the researchers found genes related to dehydration resistance, fruit development and fruit ripening. They also found genes that contribute to volatile compounds related to fruit scent and flavor.
The UC Davis portion of the work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
- Anthony Bolger, Federico Scossa, Marie E Bolger, Christa Lanz, Florian Maumus, Takayuki Tohge, Hadi Quesneville, Saleh Alseekh, Iben Sørensen, Gabriel Lichtenstein, Eric A Fich, Mariana Conte, Heike Keller, Korbinian Schneeberger, Rainer Schwacke, Itai Ofner, Julia Vrebalov, Yimin Xu, Sonia Osorio, Saulo Alves Aflitos, Elio Schijlen, José M Jiménez-Goméz, Malgorzata Ryngajllo, Seisuke Kimura, Ravi Kumar, Daniel Koenig, Lauren R Headland, Julin N Maloof, Neelima Sinha, Roeland C H J van Ham, René Klein Lankhorst, Linyong Mao, Alexander Vogel, Borjana Arsova, Ralph Panstruga, Zhangjun Fei, Jocelyn K C Rose, Dani Zamir, Fernando Carrari, James J Giovannoni, Detlef Weigel, Björn Usadel, Alisdair R Fernie. The genome of the stress-tolerant wild tomato species Solanum pennellii. Nature Genetics, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/ng.3046
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