The tomato Anthocyanin fruit (Aft) genotype is characterized by purple color in skin and outer pericarp of its fruits due to higher levels of anthocyanins - flavonoid metabolites. Our objectives were to carry out metabolic and molecular characterization of this genotype, emphasizing its interaction with the high pigment-1 (hp-1) mutation, known to increase flavonoids in tomato fruits. These objectives fit the growing interest in developing tomato fruits with higher levels of functional metabolites. Our results show that 1) Aft fruits are also characterized by significantly higher levels of the flavonols quercetin and kaempferol, thus enhancing their functional value; 2) the tomato Anthocyanin1 (Ant1) gene, encoding a Myb transcription factor, displayed nucleotide and amino acid polymorphisms between the Aft genotype and cultivated genotypes; 3) a DNA marker based on Ant1 showed that the Aft trait is encoded by a single locus on chromosome 10 fully associated with Ant1; and 4) double homozygotes Aft/Aft hp-1/hp-1 plants displayed a more-than-additive effect on the production of fruit anthocyanidins and flavonols. This effect was manifested by approximately 5-, 19-, and 33-fold increase of petunidin, malvidin, and delphinidin, respectively, in the double mutants compared with the cumulative levels of their parental lines.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology