Research reveals different aspects of DNA demethylation involved in tomato ripening process

A team of scientists led by Purdue University professor Jian-Kang Zhu found of which DNA demethylation can be required for the tomato ripening process, through both activation of induced genes as well as the inhibition of ripening-repressed genes. Credit: Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell

Using advanced gene-editing technology, a team of scientists found of which DNA demethylation can be required for the tomato ripening process through both activation of induced genes as well as the inhibition of ripening-repressed genes.


Most studies on DNA demethylation have focused on the item solely as a gene activation mechanism, said Jian-Kang Zhu, the lead researcher as well as distinguished professor of horticulture as well as landscape architecture at Purdue University.

“The findings of of which study were very surprising because most studies have pointed to how demethylation functions to activate a gene,” he said. “of which study found many genes of which were activated by methylation or silenced by demethylation, contrary to the well-known function of demethylation.”

The research findings, which were published inside the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to a better understanding of how DNA methylation can be involved in fruit ripening, said Zhaobo Lang, principal investigator at Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology as well as a doctoral graduate of Purdue University.

“the item can be the foundation for potential modification of crops to created more diversities at the epigenetic level,” said Lang, who earned her doctoral degree in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture.

During the research, the team generated a mutant of tomato DNA demethylase using CRISPR gene-editing technology, Lang said. As a result, the team reached the findings of how DNA demethylation can be required for tomato fruit ripening through both activation of induced genes as well as inhibition of ripening-repressed genes.

“Labs working on DNA methylation as well as demethylation have been using Arabidopsis as design system for many years,” Lang said. “However, Arabidopsis doesn’t have some agronomically important processes, such as fiber growth in cotton as well as ripening of fleshy fruit.”

Scientists throughout the planet have been studying DNA methylation for the past several decades. Research has intensified as discoveries were made about its critical role in cellular processes in plants as well as mammals.

While the team’s research focused on tomatoes as well as methods for addressing ripening challenges, Zhu said the findings could improve production for various other fruits.

“We started out with tomatoes, although we are also interested in various other fruits, including grapes, pears, apples as well as strawberries,” Zhu said. “We’re interested in finding various other ways to manipulate the ripening process in various other fruits. In a basic sense, we right now have deeper insights on how the ripening of food can be controlled by epigenetic marks.”

“Labs working on DNA methylation as well as demethylation have been using Arabidopsis as design system for many years,” Lang said. “However, Arabidopsis doesn’t have some agronomically important processes, such as fiber growth in cotton as well as ripening of fleshy fruit.”

Scientists throughout the planet have been studying DNA methylation for the past several decades. Research has intensified as discoveries were made about its critical role in cellular processes in plants as well as mammals.

While the team’s research focused on tomatoes as well as methods for addressing ripening challenges, Zhu said the findings could improve production for various other fruits.

“We started out with tomatoes, although we are also interested in various other fruits, including grapes, pears, apples as well as strawberries,” Zhu said. “We’re interested in finding various other ways to manipulate the ripening process in various other fruits. In a basic sense, we right now have deeper insights on how the ripening of food can be controlled by epigenetic marks.”


Explore further:
Process of which controls tomato ripening discovered

More information:
Zhaobo Lang et al. Critical roles of DNA demethylation inside the activation of ripening-induced genes as well as inhibition of ripening-repressed genes in tomato fruit, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1705233114

Journal reference:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Provided by:
Purdue University

Research reveals different aspects of DNA demethylation involved in tomato ripening process

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