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A lineage-specific arginine in POS1 is required for fruit size control in Physaleae (Solanaceae) via gene co-option
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Wang L, Liu XY, Li QR, Xu N, He CY*
PubYear : 2022
Volume :   Issue : 
Publication Name : Plant Journal
Page number : DOI:10.1111/tpj.15786
Abstract : 

Solanaceae have important economic value mainly due to their edible fruits. Physalis organ size 1/cytokinin response factor 3 (POS1/CRF3), a unique gene in Solanaceae, is involved in fruit size variation in Physalis but not in Solanum. However, the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here, we found that POS1/CRF3 was likely created via the fusion of CRF7 and CRF8 duplicates. Multiple genetic manipulations revealed that only POS1 and Capsicum POS1 (CaPOS1) functioned in fruit size control via the positive regulation of cell expansion. Comparative studies in a phylogenetic framework showed the directional enhancement of POS1-like expression in the flowers and fruits of Physaleae and the specific gain of certain interacting proteins associated with cell expansion by POS1 and CaPOS1. A lineage-specific single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) caused the 68th amino acid histidine in the POS1 orthologs of non-Physaleae (Nicotiana and Solanum) to change to arginine in Physaleae (Physalis and Capsicum). Substituting the arginine in Physaleae POS1-like by histidine completely abolished their function in the fruits and the protein–protein interaction (PPI) with calreticulin-3. Transcriptomic comparison revealed the potential downstream pathways of POS1, including the brassinosteroid biosynthesis pathway. However, POS1-like may have functioned ancestrally in abiotic stress within Solanaceae. Our work demonstrated that heterometric expression and a SNP caused a single amino acid change to establish new PPIs, which contributed to the co-option of POS1 in multiple regulatory pathways to regulate cell expansion and thus fruit size in Physaleae. These results provide new insights into fruit morphological evolution and fruit yield control.

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