Article

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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