Mechanism of energy metabolism for fruit setting in tomato

September 7, 2020

A research group from the University of Tsukuba, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, University of Bordeaux, Kobe University, Kyushu University, the University of Tokyo, Teikyo University, RIKEN CSRS, Nagoya University, and Chiba University successfully modeled the mechanism of metabolism controlled by plant hormones in tomato ovaries and revealed the whole picture of energy metabolism that supports fruit setting.

Fruit set is the process where ovaries develop into fruits after pollination. In tomatoes, a function of gibberellin, a plant hormone produced after pollination, is known to promote fruit set. As rapid growth with active cell division occurs in the ovaries of tomatoes that have begun fruit set, energy metabolism is thought to play an important role in maintaining fruit set. However, the full extent of this mechanism, specifically how pollination and gibberellin control the metabolism, has not been known. In this study, the mechanism of energy metabolism in the fruit set of tomatoes is elucidated by using mathematical methods, such as network analysis and construction of a kinetic model.

The metabolic mechanism and the key genetic information for the regulation of the mechanism, which were revealed in this study, are expected to be useful in development of technologies to improve productivity of tomato and other fruit products, as well as development of breeding materials.


Original article
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Y. Shinozaki, B. P. Beauvoit, M. Takahara, S. Hao, K. Ezura, M.-H. Andrieu, K. Nishida, K. Mori, Y. Suzuki, S. Kuhara, H. Enomoto, M. Kusano, A. Fukushima, T. Mori, M. Kojima, M. Kobayashi, H. Sakakibara, K.Saito, Y. Ohtani, C. Bénard, D. Prodhomme, Y. Gibon, H. Ezura, T. Ariizumi,
"Fruit setting rewires central metabolism via gibberellin cascades".

Kazuki Saito; Group Director
Metabolomics Research Group

Atsushi Fukushima; Senior Scientist
Metabolome Informatics Research Team