A MADS-Box Gene Necessary for Fruit Ripening at the Tomato Ripening-Inhibitor (Rin) Locus

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Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 343-346
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068181

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Tomato plants harboring theripening-inhibitor (rin) mutation yield fruits that fail to ripen. Additionally, rin plants display enlarged sepals and loss of inflorescence determinacy. Positional cloning of the rin locus revealed two tandem MADS-box genes (LeMADS-RIN andLeMADS-MC), whose expression patterns suggested roles in fruit ripening and sepal development, respectively. Therin mutation alters expression of both genes. Gene repression and mutant complementation demonstrate thatLeMADS-RIN regulates ripening, whereasLeMADS-MC affects sepal development and inflorescence determinacy. LeMADS-RINdemonstrates an agriculturally important function of plant MADS-box genes and provides molecular insight into nonhormonal (developmental) regulation of ripening.

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