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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2007 Jun;10(3):283-9. Epub 2007 Apr 17.

Fruit ripening mutants yield insights into ripening control.

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US Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service and Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Tower Road, Cornell University Campus, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Fruit ripening is a developmental process that is exclusive to plants whereby mature seed-bearing organs undergo physiological and metabolic changes that promote seed dispersal. Molecular investigations into ripening control mechanisms have been aided by the recent cloning of tomato ripening genes that were previously known only through mutation. Advances in the genomics of tomato have provided genetic and molecular tools that have facilitated the positional and candidate-gene-based cloning of several key ripening genes. These discoveries have created new inroads into understanding of the primary ripening control mechanisms, including transcription factors such as those encoded by the RIPENING-INHIBITOR (RIN) MADS-box and COLOURLESS NON-RIPENING (CNR) SPB-box genes, which are necessary for the progression of virtually all ripening processes. They have also facilitated the elucidation of downstream signal transduction components that impact the hormonal and environmental stimuli that coordinate and modulate ripening phenotypes.

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