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Article|01 Apr 2021|OPEN
Tomato SlBL4 plays an important role in fruit pedicel organogenesis and abscission
Fang Yan1,2, Zhehao Gong2, Guojian Hu2, Xuesong Ma1, Runyao Bai1, Ruonan Yu1, Qiang Zhang3, Wei Deng2, Zhengguo Li2,4, & Hada Wuriyanghan1,
1Key Laboratory of Herbage & Endemic Crop Biotechnology, Ministry of Education, School of Life Science, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China
2Key Laboratory of Plant Hormones and Development Regulation of Chongqing, School of Life Sciences, Chongqing University, 401331 Chongqing, China
3School of Biology and Basic Medical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, China
4Center of Plant Functional Genomics, Institute of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Chongqing University, 401331 Chongqing, China

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 78 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.78
Views: 223

Received: 20 Aug 2020
Revised: 08 Jan 2021
Accepted: 06 Feb 2021
Published online: 01 Apr 2021

Abstract

Abscission, a cell separation process, is an important trait that influences grain and fruit yield. We previously reported that BEL1-LIKE HOMEODOMAIN 4 (SlBL4) is involved in chloroplast development and cell wall metabolism in tomato fruit. In the present study, we showed that silencing SlBL4 resulted in the enlargement and pre-abscission of the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Micro-TOM) fruit pedicel. The anatomic analysis showed the presence of more epidermal cell layers and no obvious abscission zone (AZ) in the SlBL4 RNAi lines compared with the wild-type plants. RNA-seq analysis indicated that the regulation of abscission by SlBL4was associated with the altered abundance of genes related to key meristems, auxin transporters, signaling components, and cell wall metabolism. Furthermore, SlBL4 positively affected the auxin concentration in the abscission zone. A dual-luciferase reporter assay revealed that SlBL4 activated the transcription of the JOINTLESS, OVATE, PIN1, and LAX3genes. We reported a novel function of SlBL4, which plays key roles in fruit pedicel organogenesis and abscission in tomatoes.