SlARF10, an auxin response factor, is involved in chlorophyll and sugar accumulation during tomato fruit development.J Exp Bot. 2018 11 26; 69(22):5507-5518.JE
The photosynthesis of green tomatoes contributes to fruit growth and carbon economy. The tomato auxin response factor 10 (SlARF10) belongs to the ARF family and is located in nucleus. In this study, we found that SlARF10 was highly expressed in green fruit. Overexpression of SlARF10 in fruit produced a dark-green phenotype whilst knock-down by RNAi produced a light-green phenotype. Autofluorescence and chlorophyll content analyses confirmed the phenotypes, which indicated that SlARF10 plays an important role in chlorophyll accumulation. Overexpression of SlARF10 positively affected photosynthesis in both leaves and fruit. Furthermore, SlARF10-overexpression lines displayed improved accumulation of starch, fructose, and sucrose in fruit, whilst SlARF10-RNAi lines showed decreased accumulation of starch and sucrose. Regulation of SlARF10 expression altered the expression of AGPase starch biosynthesis genes. SlARF10 positively regulated the expression of SlGLK1, POR, CBP1, and CBP2, which are related to chlorophyll metabolism and regulation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed that SlARF10 directly targets to the SlGLK1 promoter. Our results thus indicate that SlARF10 is involved in chlorophyll accumulation by transcriptional activation of SlGLK1 expression in tomato fruit, and provide insights into the link between auxin signaling, chloroplast activity, and sugar metabolism during tomato fruit development.