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Chlorophyll breakdown during pepper fruit ripening in the chlorophyll retainer mutation is impaired at the homolog of the senescence-inducible stay-green gene

Abstract

The pepper chlorophyll retainer (cl) mutation is characterized by inhibition of chlorophyll degradation during fruit ripening. Ripe fruit of cl pepper containing chlorophyll and red carotenoids is brown, while ripe fruit containing chlorophyll and yellow carotenoids is green. In addition to the inhibitory effect during fruit ripening caused by cl, we show that chlorophyll degradation is inhibited during natural and dark-induced leaf senescence. Therefore, the cl mutation has the characteristics of the stay-green (sgr) mutants described in many other species. Upon the recent discovery of the SGR gene in various plant species, we isolated pepper SGR (CaSGR) and found that it genetically cosegregates with cl in a BC1 mapping population. Furthermore, sequencing the wild-type and mutant alleles revealed an amino-acid substitution of tryptophan (aromatic amino acid) to arginine (basic amino acid) at position 114 in the protein sequence. The single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that differentiates the wild-type and mutant alleles was exploited to develop a PCR marker useful for marker-assisted selection. Expression of CaSGR as measured by semiquantitative RT-PCR was mostly induced upon fruit ripening and to a lesser extent upon leaf senescence. Taking together, our genetic, sequence and expression data all indicate that CaSGR is a candidate for controlling the cl mutation in pepper.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Yoram Eyal and Dr. Amnon Lers for useful discussions on chlorophyll catabolism related to fruit ripening and leaf senescence.

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Correspondence to Ilan Paran.

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Communicated by I. L. Goldman.

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Borovsky, Y., Paran, I. Chlorophyll breakdown during pepper fruit ripening in the chlorophyll retainer mutation is impaired at the homolog of the senescence-inducible stay-green gene. Theor Appl Genet 117, 235–240 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-008-0768-5

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Keywords

  • Chlorophyll
  • Leaf Senescence
  • Ripe Fruit
  • Senescent Leaf
  • Chlorophyll Degradation