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Nat Genet. 2010 May;42(5):459-63. doi: 10.1038/ng.550. Epub 2010 Mar 28.

The flowering gene SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS drives heterosis for yield in tomato.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot, Israel.

Abstract

Intercrossing different varieties of plants frequently produces hybrid offspring with superior vigor and increased yields, in a poorly understood phenomenon known as heterosis. One classical unproven model for heterosis is overdominance, which posits in its simplest form that improved vigor can result from a single heterozygous gene. Here we report that heterozygosity for tomato loss-of-function alleles of SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS (SFT), which is the genetic originator of the flowering hormone florigen, increases yield by up to 60%. Yield overdominance from SFT heterozygosity is robust, occurring in distinct genetic backgrounds and environments. We show that several traits integrate pleiotropically to drive heterosis in a multiplicative manner, and these effects derive from a suppression of growth termination mediated by SELF PRUNING (SP), an antagonist of SFT. Our findings provide the first example of a single overdominant gene for yield and suggest that single heterozygous mutations may improve productivity in other agricultural organisms.

PMID:
20348958
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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