A comprehensive survey of the levels of plastid RNAs at progressive stages of tomato fruit ripening was conducted by hybridizing total RNA with labeled Pst I fragments that cover almost the entire tomato plastid genome and with gene-specific probes. Two different cultivars of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were examined, Traveler 76 and Count II. One of the tomato probes, P7, revealed a pronounced increase in the amount of an 8.3 kb RNA in ripe fruit. The homologous region of the tobacco plastid genome contains several genes for ribosomal proteins and a large unidentified open reading frame (2280 codons). Little change was observed in the levels of many transcripts during ripening. However, in some cases (e.g. psbA and psbC/D) the amount of RNA decreased during ripening of Count II but showed little or no change in Traveler 76. The contrast between Traveler 76 and Count II tomatoes shows that the level of plastid transcripts can vary substantially during fruit ripening with no obvious effect on the chloroplast to chromoplast transition. The large RNA from the P7 region may encode a protein that functions predominantly in chromoplasts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science