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Plant Cell Physiol. 2018 Sep 6. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcy184. [Epub ahead of print]

Aberrant Stamen Development is Associated with Parthenocarpic Fruit Set through Up-regulation of Gibberellin Biosynthesis in Tomato.

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Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Tsukuba Plant Innovation Research Center, University of Tsukuba, Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Graduate School of Environmental and Life and Sciences, Okayama University, Tsushima, Okayama, Japan.
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, 1-7-22, Suehiro, Tsurumi, Yokohama, Japan.
Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan.
Graduate School Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Parthenocarpy, a process in which fruit set occurs without fertilization, leads to the production of seedless fruit. A number of floral homeotic mutants with abnormal stamen development exhibit parthenocarpic fruit set. Flower development is thought to repress ovary growth before anthesis. However, the mechanism of parthenocarpic fruit development caused by aberrant flower formation is poorly understood. To investigate the molecular mechanism of parthenocarpic fruit development in floral homeotic mutants, we performed functional analysis of Tomato APETALA3 (TAP3) by loss-of-function approaches. Organ-specific promoter was used to induce organ-specific loss of function in stamen and ovary/fruit. We observed increased cell expansion in tap3 mutants and TAP3-RNAi lines during parthenocarpic fruit growth. These were predominantly accompanied by the up-regulation of GA biosynthesis genes, including SlGA20ox1, SlGA20ox2, and SlGA20ox3, as well as reduced expression of the GA-inactivating gene SlGA2ox1 and the auxin signaling gene SlARF7 involved in a crosstalk between GA and auxin. These transcriptional profiles are in agreement with the GA levels in these lines. These results suggest that stamen development negatively regulates fruit set by repressing the GA biosynthesis.


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