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Plant Physiol. 2001 Oct;127(2):575-83.

fw2.2 directly affects the size of developing tomato fruit, with secondary effects on fruit number and photosynthate distribution.

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  • 1Department of Plant Breeding, 252 Emerson Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


fw2.2 is a quantitative trait locus responsible for approximately 30% of the difference in fruit size between large, domesticated tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and their small-fruited wild relatives. The gene underlying this quantitative trait locus was cloned recently and shown to be associated with altered cell division in ovaries (Frary et al., 2000). However, it was not known whether the change in fruit size is associated with other changes in plant morphology or overall fruit yield-changes that could potentially cause the fruit weight phenotype. To shed light on this issue, a detailed comparison was made between nearly isogenic lines differing for alleles at this locus to search for pleiotropic effects associated with fw2.2. Field observations show that although the small-fruited nearly isogenic line produced smaller ovaries and fruit as expected, this was compensated by a larger number of fruit-due mainly to a significantly greater number of inflorescences-but with no net change in total fruit mass yield. This strongly suggests that fw2.2 may have a pleiotropic effect on how the plant distributes photosynthate among fruit. In a flower removal experiment to control for differences in inflorescence size and number, fruit size remained significantly different between the nearly isogenic lines. These observations indicate that the primary effect of fw2.2 is in controlling ovary and fruit size, and that other associated phenotypic effects are secondary.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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