Friday December 14, 2018 at 2:00 pm - Amphitheater Colette and Josy Bové - INRA Bordeaux - Defense of Thesis Paul DESLOUS

"Towards the characterization of regulators involved in the metabolism of ascorbic acid in tomato"


Team : Metabolism

Direction : Pierre BALDET

Abstract :

Ascorbic acid (AsA, vitamin C) is one of the most important biochemical in living organisms. Due to its high antioxidant potential, AsA represents an important trait of nutritional quality in fruits and vegetables. In addition to its beneficial health value in fruit consumption, increasing fruit AsA content would likely affect postharvest quality and resistance to pathogens. Thus, understanding the regulation of AsA accumulation in order to improve crop species of agronomical interest is an important issue in plant breeding for many fleshy fruit species. To get a better understanding of the regulation of AsA level in plants and its impact on fruit quality, a highly mutagenized EMS tomato collection (cv. Micro-Tom) was screened for AsA+ fruit mutants. This forward genetic strategy combined with a mapping-by-sequencing approach, had allowed identifying new genes related to the AsA+ trait. One of the mutant line named P21H6, displayed an AsA-enrichment 2 to 4 fold that of the WT, and was the first to be genetically characterized. It allowed highlighting a new class of photoreceptor involved in blue light sensing named SlPLP as a negative regulator of AsA accumulation in tomato. We confirmed the role of the PLP in the fruit AsA+ phenotype using a directed mutagenesis strategy, undertaking its functional characterization. We demonstrate that PLP interacts with GGP (GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase), a key enzyme of the L-Galactose pathway, under blue light control and that this interaction takes place in the cytoplasm and the nucleus. Our results strengthen the central role of GGP in the AsA biosynthesis and suggest a new regulation mechanism by blue light of the GGP function in addition to its metabolic activity. Besides we started the characterization another mutant, the P17C5-3, which displayed the highest level of AsA (up to 10 times the WT). Beyond its AsA+ content, the P17C5 mutant showed strong morphological alterations including a seedless phenotype making the mapping difficult at first. Thanks to the crossing with the commercial M82 tomato cultivar, the causal mutation was identified in a cis-acting ORF, upstream of the GGP gene. This result confirmed the key role of GGP in the L-Galactose pathway. Preliminary studies related to the parthenocarpic phenotype suggest a problem of male sterility associated with pollen development processes. Finally, in the study of the post-harvest fruit quality, chilling stress experiments carried out with the P21H6 fruits seem to demonstrate that increasing AsA content improve the fruit shelf life and its maturation capacity. Taken as a whole, our results confirmed the key position of the GGP protein in the AsA biosynthesis pathway and they provided precious tools and plant material for deciphering the regulation of AsA and its physiological role in fruit quality and post-harvest traits.

Jury :

M. Pierre BALDET - CR INRA Bordeaux
Mme Rebecca STEVENS - CR INRA Avignon
M. Nicholas SMIRNOFF - PR University of Exeter
M. Jérome JOUBES - PR Université de Bordeaux
M. Bertrand GAKIERE - MC Université Paris-Sud
Mme Hélène GAUTIER - DR INRA Avignon

Modification date: 14 August 2023 | Publication date: 15 November 2018 | By: M. Gauthier