Light plays a fundamental role in plant development, not only as an energy provider for photosynthesis, but also as a key for a variety of physiological processes, including photomorphogenesis, circadian cycle signaling and organs and organelles movement. As photoreceptors perceive light signal, a complex signaling network is initiated in which PHYTOCHROME INTERACTION FACTORS (PIFs) play a central role. These proteins are transcription factors that accumulate in the dark, and negatively regulate light response. PIF proteins participate in several physiological processes during plant's lifetime from de-etiolation to senescence, and are important in biogenesis regulation and chloroplasts maintenance. Since plastidial activity is strongly related to productivity and nutritional quality of fruits, this project aims to explore the effects of PIF genes manipulation over fleshy fruits metabolism. Specifically, it proposes an extensive phenotypic characterization of SIPIF1b-knockdown Solanum lycopersicum plants. The analysis will include aspects of carbon metabolism, nutraceutical compounds (carotenoids and tocopherols) and productivity. The results obtained will improve our knowledge on PIF regulation network, and how its manipulation may affect fruit quality and development in tomato.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: