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Planta. 2012 Jun;235(6):1107-22. doi: 10.1007/s00425-011-1561-2. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Direct targets of the tomato-ripening regulator RIN identified by transcriptome and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses.

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National Food Research Institute, 2-1-12 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan.


The physiological and biochemical changes in fruit ripening produce key attributes of fruit quality including color, taste, aroma and texture. These changes are driven by the highly regulated and synchronized activation of a huge number of ripening-associated genes. In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), a typical climacteric fruit, the MADS-box transcription factor RIN is one of the earliest-acting ripening regulators, required for both ethylene-dependent and ethylene-independent pathways. Although we previously identified several direct RIN targets, many additional targets remain unidentified, likely including key ripening-associated genes. Here, we report the identification of novel RIN targets by transcriptome and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses. Transcriptome comparisons by microarray of wild-type and rin mutant tomatoes identified 342 positively regulated genes and 473 negatively regulated genes by RIN during ripening. Most of the positively regulated genes contained possible RIN-binding (CArG-box) sequences in their promoters. Subsequently, we selected six genes from the positively regulated genes and a ripening regulator gene, CNR, and assayed their promoters by quantitative ChIP-PCR to examine RIN binding. All of the seven genes, which are involved in cell wall modification, aroma and flavor development, pathogen defense and transcriptional regulation during ripening, are targets of RIN, suggesting that RIN may control multiple diverse ripening processes. In particular, RIN directly regulates the expression of the ripening-associated transcription factors, CNR, TDR4 and a GRAS family gene, providing an important clue to elucidate the complicated transcriptional cascade for fruit ripening.

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