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J Integr Plant Biol, 60 (6): 498-513, Research Article
Silencing GRAS2 reduces fruit weight in tomato
Miao Li, Xin Wang, Changxing Li, Hanxia Li, Junhong Zhang* and Zhibiao Ye
Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

*
Correspondence:
Email: Junhong Zhang (zhangjunhng@mail.hzau.edu.cn)
Abstract

GRAS family transcription factors are involved in multiple biological processes in plants. Here, we report that GRAS2 plays a vital role in regulating fruit weight in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). We establish that the expression of GRAS2 was elevated in ovaries and maintained at a constant level in fertilized ovules. Reduction of GRAS2 expression in transgenic plants reduced fruit weight through modulating ovary growth and cell size. At the metabolic level, downregulation of GRAS2 decreased activities of the gibberellic acid biosynthesis and signal transduction pathways, leading to insufficient levels of active gibberellic acid during the initial ovary development of tomato. Moreover, genotypic diversity of GRAS2 was consistent with the molecular basis of fruit weight evolution, suggesting that GRAS2 contributes to the molecular basis of the evolution of fruit weight in tomato. Collectively, these findings enhance our understanding of GRAS2 functions, in fruit development of tomato, and demonstrate a strong association between the GRAS gene family and fruit development.

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Received: 30 October 2017      Published: 23 January 2018
© 2018 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
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