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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Feb;11(1):58-63. Epub 2007 Nov 9.

Genetics and epigenetics of fruit development and ripening.

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  • 1Plant Science Division, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Loughborough, Leics LE12 5RD, UK.


Fruits come in a vast variety of forms with both dry and fleshy types being essential components of the human diet. Elegant studies on the dry fruits of Arabidopsis have identified a suite of transcription factors involved in their development and dehiscence. Recent discoveries in tomato have revealed a hitherto unsuspected regulatory network involved in the developmental regulation of ripening in these fleshy fruits. Intriguingly it has become apparent that tomato shares some elements of its regulatory network in common with those involved in fruit development in Arabidopsis. Furthermore epigenetic variation has been shown to influence tomato ripening. These discoveries are likely to have a major impact on strategies for crop improvement in fruit bearing species.

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