Phenotypes associated with down-regulation of Sl-IAA27 support functional diversity among Aux/IAA family members in tomato.Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Sep; 53(9):1583-95.PC
The phytohormone auxin is known to regulate several aspects of plant development, and Aux/IAA transcription factors play a pivotal role in auxin signaling. To extend our understanding of the multiple functions of Aux/IAAs further, the present study describes the functional characterization of Sl-IAA27, a member of the tomato Aux/IAA gene family. Sl-IAA27 displays a distinct behavior compared with most Aux/IAA genes regarding the regulation of its expression by auxin, and the Sl-IAA27-encoded protein harbors a unique motif of unknown function also present in Sl-IAA9 and remarkably conserved in monocot and dicot species. Tomato transgenic plants underexpressing the Sl-IAA27 gene revealed multiple phenotypes related to vegetative and reproductive growth. Silencing of Sl-IAA27 results in higher auxin sensitivity, altered root development and reduced Chl content in leaves. Both ovule and pollen display a dramatic loss of fertility in Sl-IAA27 down-regulated lines, and the internal anatomy of the flower and the fruit are modified, with an enlarged placenta in smaller fruits. In line with the reduced Chl content in Sl-IAA27 RNA interference (RNAi) leaves, genes involved in Chl synthesis display lower expression at the level of transcript accumulation. Even though Sl-IAA27 is closely related to Sl-IAA9 in terms of sequence homology and the encoded proteins share common structural features, the data indicate that the two genes regulate tomato fruit initiation and development in a distinct manner.