Tuber formation in tomatoes

Tuber formation in tomatoes

In an article entitled, ‘A Cytokinin-Activating Enzyme Promotes Tuber Formation in Tomato,’ published online in June 6, 2013, issue of Current Biology (, the lead author Tamar Eviatar-Ribak with five other associates from two different institutes have reported on, A cytokinin-activating enzyme that induces de novo homeotic tubers in tomato and also discovered that tomato LONELY GUY 1 (TLOG1) gene signaling abolishes apical dominance without disrupting polar auxin transport. They also stated that miR156 regulates tuber-forming potential of tomato and potato via its role in juvenility. Ectopic expression of (LOG1), a cytokinin (CK) biosynthesis gene, imparts potential to the outgrowing juvenile tomato buds to generate aerial minitubers (TMTs). The new hormonal balance stimulates ectopic branching of dormant axillary meristems and loss of apical dominance without disruption of polar auxin transport and obviates the need for specific branching genes. miR156, a master regulator of juvenility, extends tuber-forming potential to distal axillary buds in both wild-type potato and tomato primed by LOG1 signaling. However, Genetic analysis of the pathways that transform competent meristematic domains to tuber-initiating sites is hindered in potato and other tuber forming plants by intractable genetic systems. The generation of TMTs in the diploid genetically tractable tomato offers a complementary experimental platform. At the same time, their results suggest new genetic opportunities to reconstruct full-size, stolon-borne, ground-bound, and dormant tubers from naive buds of tomato, essentially reconstructing the path for domestication and the evolution of one single unique morph. The unlocking of this potential by the activity of a single gene represents a prime example of an evolutionary novelty in the making and suggests that CKs may function as universal regulators of storage-organ formation in plants.[Summarized by Sasad Razzaque – Research Associate in]

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