J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (9): 1649-1672.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13316

• Review •     Next Articles

Transcriptional regulation of fleshy fruit texture

Yanna Shi1,2,3, Bai‐Jun Li1,2,3, Guanqing Su1, Mengxue Zhang1, Donald Grierson3,4* and Kun‐Song Chen1,2,3*   

  1. 1 College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Zijingang Campus, Hangzhou 310058, China
    2 Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Integrative Biology, Zhejiang University, Zijingang Campus, Hangzhou 310058, China
    3 State Agriculture Ministry Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Growth, Development and Quality Improvement, Zhejiang University, Zijingang Campus, Hangzhou 310058, China
    4 Division of Plant and Crop Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK

    * Correspondences: Donald Grierson (donald.grierson@nottingham.ac.uk); Kun‐Song Chen (akun@zju.edu.cn; Dr. Chen is fully responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2022-04-30 Accepted:2022-06-22 Online:2022-06-22 Published:2022-09-01


Fleshy fruit texture is a critically important quality characteristic of ripe fruit. Softening is an irreversible process which operates in most fleshy fruits during ripening which, together with changes in color and taste, contributes to improvements in mouthfeel and general attractiveness. Softening results mainly from the expression of genes encoding enzymes responsible for cell wall modifications but starch degradation and high levels of flavonoids can also contribute to texture change. Some fleshy fruit undergo lignification during development and post-harvest, which negatively affects eating quality. Excessive softening can also lead to physical damage and infection, particularly during transport and storage which causes severe supply chain losses. Many transcription factors (TFs) that regulate fruit texture by controlling the expression of genes involved in cell wall and starch metabolism have been characterized. Some TFs directly regulate cell wall targets, while others act as part of a broader regulatory program governing several aspects of the ripening process. In this review, we focus on advances in our understanding of the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms governing fruit textural change during fruit development, ripening and post-harvest. Potential targets for breeding and future research directions for the control of texture and quality improvement are discussed.

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