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J Exp Bot. 2006;57(9):1883-97. Epub 2006 Jan 31.

Metabolic regulation underlying tomato fruit development.

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Instituto de Biotecnología, CICVyA, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agrícola (IB-INTA) Argentina.


The development and maturation of tomato fruits has received considerable attention because of both the uniqueness of such processes to the biology of plants and the importance of these fruits as a component of the human diet. Molecular and genetic analysis of fruit development, and especially ripening of fleshy fruits, has resulted in significant gains in knowledge over recent years. A large amount of knowledge has been gathered on ethylene biosynthesis and response, cell wall metabolism, and environmental factors, such as light, that impact ripening. Considerably less attention has been paid directly to the general metabolic shifts that underpin these responses. Given the vast complexity of fruit metabolism, the focus chosen for this review is on primary metabolites and those secondary metabolites that are important with respect to fruit quality. Here, recent advances in dissecting tomato metabolic pathways are reviewed. Also discussed are recent examples in which the combined application of metabolic and transcriptional profiling, aimed at identifying candidate genes for modifying metabolite contents, was used.

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