Development of desired quality traits with parallel loss of robustness during domestication of crop plants is reflected by a remarkable change of metabolic phenotype. In our study we used an introgression population developed from the wild desert-adapted tomato Solanum pennellii and the domesticated cultivar Solanum lycopersicum to identify the genetic basis of metabolic variation and to estimate the transferability of wild species traits to the cultivated tomato accessions. We quantified the abundance of semi-lipophilic compounds in fruits of 504 tomato genotypes and we showed that more than half of quantified metabolites exhibit a significant change in abundance in response to Solanum pennellii introgressions in very specific genomic regions. Re-sequencing and candidate gene association analysis identified multiple causal associations responsible for the development of observed metabolic traits. These included single enzymatic gene-effects, as well as concerted regulation on the level of metabolic pathways. Furthermore, we showed that observed changes on the metabolic level translated to complex crop-quality traits, such as resistance to a common fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea. The study reveals a complex interaction between genome and metabolome during tomato fruit ripening and highlights the potential of wild species in next-generation crop breeding.
Selected papers related to this talk:
Tzfadia, O., Bocobza, S., Defoort, J., Almekias-Siegl, E., Panda, S., Levy, M., … Aharoni, A. (2018). The ‘TranSeq’ 3′-end sequencing method for high-throughput transcriptomics and gene space refinement in plant genomes. The Plant Journal, 96(1), 223–232. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.14015(link is external)
Szymanski, J., Levin, Y., Savidor, A., Breitel, D., Chappell-Maor, L., Heinig, U., … Aharoni, A. (2017). Label-free deep shotgun proteomics reveals protein dynamics during tomato fruit tissues development. Plant Journal, 90(2), 396–417. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.13490(link is external)
Ofner, I., Lashbrooke, J., Pleban, T., Aharoni, A., & Zamir, D. (2016). Solanum pennellii backcross inbred lines (BILs) link small genomic bins with tomato traits. Plant Journal, 87(2), 151–160. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.13194(link is external)
Shahaf, N., Rogachev, I., Heinig, U., Meir, S., Malitsky, S., Battat, M., … Aharoni, A. (2016). The WEIZMASS spectral library for high-confidence metabolite identification. Nature Communications, 7, 12423. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12423