Transcript profiling of tomato mutants producing anthocyanins in the fruit

Experiment description: Anthocyanins are high value plant antioxidants which are not present in the fruits of cultivated tomato. However, both the dominant gene Anthocyanin fruit (Aft) and the recessive gene atroviolacea (atv), introgressed into domesticated tomato from two different wild Solanum species, stimulate a limited anthocyanin pigmentation. Surprisingly, double mutant Aft/Aft atv/atv tomatoes are characterised by the presence of anthocyanins in the fruit peel, resulting in intensely purple pigmented fruit. We carried out a transcript profiling analysis using GeneChip® Tomato Genome Arrays, in order to identify differentially expressed genes when comparing wild type, Aft/Aft, atv/atv, and Aft/Aft atv/atv fruits. The expression pattern of several genes involved in the anthocyanin pathway was analyzed in detail. Among the fruit peel-associated differentially expressed transcripts, genes involved in phenylpropanoid pathway, cell wall composition, biotic and abiotic stress responses, sugar and hormone metabolism were overrepresented in Aft/Aft atv/atv. Transcriptomic analysis thus revealed that the activation of anthocyanin synthesis in tomato fruit was accompanied by a complex remodulation of gene expression, likely affecting important agronomic and merceological traits.

Author: Pierdomenico Perata

Contact: Pierdomenico Perata (, Sant Anna School of Advanced Studies

External link: GEO