Plastid metabolism plays a main role in determining yield and nutritional quality in crop plants. In Solanum lycopersicum, one of the most consumed vegetable worldwide and the major model for fleshy fruit studies, plastid metabolism is responsible for the production of essential nutrients for human health being responsible for the nutritional quality of the edible fruit. Fleshy fruit development is subjected to genetic, epigenetic and environmental control, which in turn, regulate key components of several biosynthetic metabolic routes. Among exogenous factors, temperature perception impairs primary and secondary metabolisms in different ways throughout the plant life. Phytochromes have recently emerged as key components in temperature perception. They are essential for plant productivity, as they control light perception and primary carbon metabolism, and ripening, by regulating several fruit metabolic routes. It has been reported that tomato fruit development is epigenetically regulated. For example, environmental signals induce chromatin remodelling in fruits, which differentially impacts on isoprenoid metabolism. The role of temperature in controlling epigenetic mechanisms and phytochromes as thermo-sensor have been addressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant adapted to low temperatures, whereas the effects of these factors and their interaction have not been elucidated in any other plant species. This project aims to address whether the interaction between temperature and phytochromes affects plastid metabolism and if this effect is mediated by epigenetic mechanisms during fruit development. The results will enable new strategies to improve productivity and nutritional quality in tomato crop.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: