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The GORKY glycoalkaloid transporter is indispensable for preventing tomato bitterness
Tuesday, 2021/05/11 | 08:39:10

Yana KazachkovaItay ZemachSayantan PandaSamuel BocobzaAndrii VainerIlana RogachevYonghui DongShifra Ben-DorDorottya VeresChrista KanstrupSophie Konstanze LambertzChristoph CrocollYangjie HuEilon ShaniSimon MichaeliHussam Hassan Nour-EldinDani Zamir & Asaph Aharoni

Nature Plants volume 7, pages 468–480 (2021)


Fruit taste is determined by sugars, acids and in some species, bitter chemicals. Attraction of seed-dispersing organisms in nature and breeding for consumer preferences requires reduced fruit bitterness. A key metabolic shift during ripening prevents tomato fruit bitterness by eliminating α-tomatine, a renowned defence-associated Solanum alkaloid. Here, we combined fine mapping with information from 150 resequenced genomes and genotyping a 650-tomato core collection to identify nine bitter-tasting accessions including the ‘high tomatine’ Peruvian landraces reported in the literature. These ‘bitter’ accessions contain a deletion in GORKY, a nitrate/peptide family transporter mediating α-tomatine subcellular localization during fruit ripening. GORKY exports α-tomatine and its derivatives from the vacuole to the cytosol and this facilitates the conversion of the entire α-tomatine pool to non-bitter forms, rendering the fruit palatable. Hence, GORKY activity was a notable innovation in the process of tomato fruit domestication and breeding.


See: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-021-00865-6

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