Auxin response factors (ARFs) encode transcriptional factors that function in the regulation of plant development processes. In a recent study, a tomato ARF gene, SlARF5, was observed to be expressed at high levels in emasculated ovaries but maintained low expression levels in pollinated ovaries.

Their results showed the amiRNA SlARF5 lines exhibited ovary growth and formed seedless fruits following emasculation. These parthenocarpic fruits developed fewer locular tissues, and the fruit size and weight were decreased in transgenic lines compared to those of wild-type fruits. Next-gen gene sequencing demonstrated that several genes involved in the auxin-signaling pathway were downregulated, whereas some genes involved in the gibberellin-signaling pathway were enhanced by the decreased SlARF5 mRNA levels in transgenic plants.

These results indicate that SlARF5 may play an important role in regulating both the auxin- and gibberellin-signaling pathways during fruit set and development.


S. Liu, Y. Zhang, Q. Feng, L. Qin, C. Pan, A. Lamin-Samu, G. Lu (2018) Tomato AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 5 regulates fruit set and development via the mediation of auxin and gibberellin signaling Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21315-y [article]

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