Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis during tomato development

Giovanni Giuliano, Glenn E. Bartley, Pablo A. Scolnik

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Phytoene synthase (Psy) and phytoene desaturase (Pds) are the first dedicated enzymes of the plant carotenoid biosynthesis pathway. We report here the organ-specific and temporal expression of PDS and PSY in tomato plants. Light increases the carotenoid content of seedlings but has little effect on PDS and PSY expression. Expression of both genes is induced in seedlings of the phytoene-accumulating mutant ghost and in wild-type seedlings treated with the Pds inhibitor norflurazon. Roots, which contain the lowest levels of carotenoids in the plant, have also the lowest levels of PDS and PSY expression. In flowers, expression of both genes and carotenoid content are higher in petals and anthers than in sepals and carpels. During flower development, expression of both PDS and PSY increases more than 10-fold immediately before anthesis. During fruit development, PSY expression increases more than 20-fold, but PDS expression increases less than threefold. We concluded that PSY and PDS are differentially regulated by stress and developmental mechanisms that control carotenoid biosynthesis in leaves, flowers, and fruits. We also report that PDS maps to chromosome 3, and thus it does not correspond to the GHOST locus, which maps to chromosome 11.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379 - 387
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Giuliano, G., Bartley, G. E., & Scolnik, P. A. (1993). Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis during tomato development. Plant Cell, 5(4), 379 - 387.