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Epistatic interaction between two unlinked loci derived from introgressions from Lycopersicon hirsutum further modulates the fructose-to-glucose ratio in the mature tomato fruit

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A DNA locus, FGR, highly associated with increased fructose-to-glucose ratio in mature tomato fruits, was previously identified and mapped to the centromeric region of the tomato chromosome 4. In order to identify the genes that modulate fructose-to-glucose ratio, a battery of candidate genes coding for key enzymes in the carbohydrate metabolic pathway were mapped, and their polymorphism between Lycopersicon hirsutum-derived fructose accumulation lines and cultivated L. esculentum lines detected. Our results show that the L. hirsutum allelic form of fructokinase 2 gene (FK2) is present, in conjunction with the FGR allele, also derived from L. hirsutum, in breeding lines characterized by higher fructose-to-glucose levels (>2.0). Analysis of F2 and F3 populations segregating for both FGR and FK2 shows that the FK2 locus is associated with fructose-to-glucose ratio in the fruit in an epistatic manner: in the presence of the L. hirsutum FGR allele, the L. hirsutum FK2 allele further increases fructose-to-glucose ratio in a more than additive manner. Analysis of the HEXOKINASE 2 gene (HK2), mapped 6 cM north of FK2 on the tomato chromosome 6 had, on the other hand, no effect on fructose-to-glucose ratio. FK2 can thus serve as an additional DNA marker to further increase fructose-to-glucose ratio.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Vegetable Research, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center ; 2: Gedera Seed Company


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