Genetic identification and genomic organization of factors affecting fruit texture.

Department of Plant Genetics and Biotechnology, Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, Warwick CV35 9EF, UK.
Journal of Experimental Botany (Impact Factor: 5.79). 11/2002; 53(377):2065-71.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fleshy fruits are an essential part of the human diet providing vital vitamins, minerals and other health-promoting compounds. The texture of the ripe fruit has a significant effect on quality and influences consumer acceptance, shelf-life, resistance, and transportability. The development of rational approaches to improve texture and shelf-life depend on understanding the biological basis of fruit ripening. Until recently, work has focused on the isolation of ripening-related genes from a variety of fleshy fruits. However, little is known about the genes that regulate this complex developmental process or whether similar regulatory genes are active in all fruiting species. A major breakthrough would be the identification of generic genes associated with texture and other aspects of ripening in fleshy fruits. In tomato, a small number of single gene mutations exist, such as ripening-inhibitor (rin), non-ripening (nor), Never-ripe (Nr), and Colourless non-ripening (Cnr) which have pleiotropic effects resulting in the reduction or almost complete abolition of ripening. These mutations probably represent lesions in regulatory genes. The cloning of the wild-type alleles of RIN and NOR is reported by Moore et al. in this issue. This review focuses on the texture characteristics of the Cnr mutant. A possible framework for the molecular regulation of fruit texture is discussed and quantitative genetic approaches to determining the generic attributes of fruit texture are explored.

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