Auxin signaling is a common factor underlying natural variation in tomato shade avoidance

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Susan M BushJulin N Maloof


Light is an essential resource for photosynthesis. Limitation of light by shade from plant neighbors can induce a light competition program known as the shade avoidance response (SAR), thereby altering plant growth and development for the sake of survival. Natural genetic variation in SAR is found in plants adapted to distinct environments, including domesticated tomato Solanum lycopersicum and its wild relative Solanum pennellii. QTL mapping was used to examine variation of the SAR between these two species. We found organ specific responses in the elongation of the stem and petiole, including developmental acceleration of growth. Through RNAseq analysis we identified a number of ILs with reduced expression of auxin-related genes in shade treatment. These same ILs display a shade tolerant phenotype in stem growth and overall height. We also identified ILs with altered SAR expression of cell wall expansion genes, although these genotypes had no accompanying alteration in phenotype. Examination of weighted gene co-expression connectivity networks in sun- and shade-treated plants revealed connectivity changes in auxin and light signaling genes; this result was supported by the identification of motifs within the promoters of a su...Continue Reading

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