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Cytokinins is involved in regulation of tomato pericarp thickness and fruit size.
Horticulture Research  (IF6.793),  Pub Date : 2022-01-19, DOI: 10.1093/hr/uhab041
Lijun Gan,Mengying Song,Xuechun Wang,Na Yang,Hu Li,Xuexia Liu,Yi Li

Although cytokinins (CKs) regulate fruit development, no direct genetic evidence supports the role of endogenous CKs in pericarp growth or development or fruit size. Here, we report that the reduction in endogenous active CKs level via overexpression of a CKs-inactivating enzyme gene AtCKX2 specifically in fruit tissues resulted in reduced pericarp thickness and smaller fruit size, compared to wild-type control fruits. The pericarp thickness and single fruit weight in transgenic plants were significantly reduced. Analysis of paraffin sections showed that the reduced pericarp thickness was due largely to a decreased number of cells, and thus decreased cell division. Transcriptome profiling showed that the expression of cell division- and expansion-related genes was reduced in AtCKX2-overexpressing fruits. In addition, the expression of auxin-signaling and gibberellin-biosynthetic genes was repressed, whereas that of gibberellin-inactivating genes was enhanced, in AtCKX2-overexpressing fruits. These results demonstrate that endogenous CKs regulate pericarp cell division and, subsequently, fruit size. They also suggest that CKs interact with auxin and gibberellins in regulating tomato pericarp thickness and fruit size.