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OBV (obscure vein), a C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor, positively regulates chloroplast development and bundle sheath extension formation in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) leaf veins
Horticulture Research  (IF6.793),  Pub Date : 2021-11-01, DOI: 10.1038/s41438-021-00659-z
Jinghua Lu, Chunyang Pan, Xin Li, Zejun Huang, Jinshuai Shu, Xiaoxuan Wang, Xiaoxiao Lu, Feng Pan, Junling Hu, Hui Zhang, Wenyue Su, Min Zhang, Yongchen Du, Lei Liu, Yanmei Guo, Junming Li

Leaf veins play an important role in plant growth and development, and the bundle sheath (BS) is believed to greatly improve the photosynthetic efficiency of C4 plants. The OBV mutation in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) results in dark veins and has been used widely in processing tomato varieties. However, physiological performance has difficulty explaining fitness in production. In this study, we confirmed that this mutation was caused by both the increased chlorophyll content and the absence of bundle sheath extension (BSE) in the veins. Using genome-wide association analysis and map-based cloning, we revealed that OBV encoded a C2H2L domain class transcription factor. It was localized in the nucleus and presented cell type-specific gene expression in the leaf veins. Furthermore, we verified the gene function by generating CRISPR/Cas9 knockout and overexpression mutants of the tomato gene. RNA sequencing analysis revealed that OBV was involved in regulating chloroplast development and photosynthesis, which greatly supported the change in chlorophyll content by mutation. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that OBV affected the growth and development of tomato by regulating chloroplast development in leaf veins. This study also provides a solid foundation to further decipher the mechanism of BSEs and to understand the evolution of photosynthesis in land plants.