Suppression of γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Transaminases Induces Prominent GABA Accumulation, Dwarfism and Infertility in the Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)
Tomatoes accumulate γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) at high levels in the immature fruits. GABA is rapidly converted to succinate during fruit ripening through the activities of GABA transaminase (GABA-T) and succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH). Although three genes encoding GABA-T and both pyruvate- and α-ketoglutarate-dependent GABA-T activities have been detected in tomato fruits, the mechanism underlying the GABA-T-mediated conversion of GABA has not been fully understood. In this work, we conducted loss-of-function analyses utilizing RNA interference (RNAi) transgenic plants with suppressed pyruvate- and glyoxylate-dependent GABA-T gene expression to clarify which GABA-T isoforms are essential for its function. The RNAi plants with suppressed SlGABA-T gene expression, particularly SlGABA-T1, showed severe dwarfism and infertility. SlGABA-T1 expression was inversely associated with GABA levels in the fruit at the red ripe stage. The GABA contents in 35S::SlGABA-T1RNAi lines were 1.3–2.0 times and 6.8–9.2 times higher in mature green and red ripe fruits, respectively, than the contents in wild-type fruits. In addition, SlGABA-T1 expression was strongly suppressed in the GABA-accumulating lines. These results indicate that pyruvate- and glyoxylate-dependent GABA-T is the essential isoform for GABA metabolism in tomato plants and that GABA-T1 primarily contributes to GABA reduction in the ripening fruits.
- Plant and cell physiology
Plant and cell physiology 54 (5), 793-807, 2013-02
Oxford University Press