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Title: Identification of molecular-genetic determinants of quality traits of tomato fruit
Author: Morgan, Megan Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 9041
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Tomato is an important food crop and a model for fleshy fruit development. The process of fruit ripening involves changes in chemical composition and in particular the accumulation of sugars, organic, amino acids and carotenes. The research described in this thesis aimed to identify key regulatory aspects associated with the accumulation of the major acids in tomato fruit by analysis of introgression lines resulting from a cross between a cultivated variety, Solanum lycopersicum, and a wild progenitor species, Solanum pennellii. Line 2-5 showed increases in citrate, malate, aspartate and glutamate in fruit grown under greenhouse conditions. The genetic differences between line 2-5, its overlapping lines, sub-introgression lines and the recurrent parent were used to link the metabolite phenotypes to smaller chromosomal regions. This analysis suggested multiple epistatic loci control fruit metabolite accumulation. Investigation of the biochemical differences between line 2-5 and the recurrent parent revealed that organic and amino acid accumulation did not dependent upon increased TCA cycle capacity. Regulation at the metabolic level was identified for citrate accumulation with changes in cytosolic aconitase in line 2-5. As these metabolites accumulate in the vacuole, tonoplast transport was investigated. Correlation of ATPase-dependent malate influx with altered malate content suggested malate tonoplast transport plays a role in malate accumulation and highlights the importance of vacuolar storage and transport in the regulation of organic and amino acid accumulation.
Supervisor: Sweetlove, Lee J. Sponsor: BBSRC ; Syngenta
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biochemistry ; Botanical sciences (see Plant sciences) ; Genetics (life sciences) ; Plant Sciences ; Metabolism ; tomato ; introgression lines ; citrate ; malate ; aspartate ; glutamate ; Solanum lycopersicum