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Solitary or multi-flowered inflorescences in tomato – conditioned by TMF gene

Solitary or multi-flowered inflorescences in tomato – conditioned by TMF gene

In an article entitled, “Synchronization of the flowering transition by the tomato TERMINATING FLOWER gene” published online, 11 November 2012, the leader of the team, Zachary B. Lippman and seven of his associates affiliated to CSHL, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Evry, France and the Department of Plant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel identified the tomato mutant terminating flower (tmf) gene. This  mutant gene conditions early flowering and converts the multi-flowered inflorescence into a solitary flower in tomato. The normal allele TMF coordinates flowering process. In the mutant the flowering process is disrupted. As a result precocious activation of a conserved floral specification complex encoded by ANANTHA (AN) and FALSIFLORA (FA) takes place while there is a delay in the expression of flowering transition genes, such as FRUITFULL (FUL). Indeed, early flowering occurs if there is precocious expression of AN gene resulting in the transformation of multi-flowered inflorescences  – characteristic of flowers of the Solanaceae species such as petunia and tobacco into normal solitary flowers. The authors conclude that by manipulating timing of AN activation, it may be possible to synchronize TMF –induced flower formation with the gradual reproductive transition. In short the   TMF gene has been found to play a key role in determining simple versus complex inflorescences.

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