Induced mutations in SlE8 and SlACO1 control tomato fruit maturation and shelf-life

Gwilherm Brisou, Sophie J.M. Piquerez, Silvia Minoia, Fabien Marcel, Amandine Cornille, Filomena Carriero, Adnane Boualem, Abdelhafid Bendahmane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fruit maturation and softening are critical traits that control fruit shelf-life. In the climacteric tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit, ethylene plays a key role in fruit ripening and softening. We characterized two related proteins with contrasting impact on ethylene production, ACC oxidase 1 (SlACO1) and SlE8. We found SlACO1 and SlE8 to be highly expressed during fruit ripening. To identify loss-of-function alleles, we analysed the tomato genetic diversity but we did not find any natural mutations impairing the function of these proteins. We also found the two loci evolving under purifying selection. To engineer hypomorphic alleles, we used TILLING (target-induced local lesions in genomes) to screen a tomato ethylmethane sulfonate-mutagenized population. We found 13 mutants that we phenotyped for ethylene production, shelf-life, firmness, conductivity, and soluble solid content in tomato fruits. The data demonstrated that slaco1-1 and slaco1-2 alleles could be used to improve fruit shelf-life, and that sle8-1 and sle8-2 alleles could be used to accelerate ripening. This study highlights further the importance of SlACO1 and SlE8 in ethylene production in tomato fruit and how they might be used for post-harvest fruit preservation or speeding up fruit maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6920-6932
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 26 2021


  • Ethylene
  • fruit firmness
  • fruit ripening
  • fruit shelf-life
  • SlACO1
  • SlE8
  • tomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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