Glycine-rich RNA-binding cofactor RZ1AL is associated with tomato ripening and development

Xindi Li, Yongfang Yang, Ni Zeng, Guiqin Qu, Daqi Fu, Benzhong Zhu, Yunbo Luo, Oren Ostersetzer-Biran, Hongliang Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Tomato ripening is a complex and dynamic process coordinated by many regulatory elements, including plant hormones, transcription factors, and numerous ripening-related RNAs and proteins. Although recent studies have shown that some RNA-binding proteins are involved in the regulation of the ripening process, understanding of how RNA-binding proteins affect fruit ripening is still limited. Here, we report the analysis of a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein, RZ1A-Like (RZ1AL), which plays an important role in tomato ripening, especially fruit coloring. To analyze the functions of RZ1AL in fruit development and ripening, we generated knockout cr-rz1al mutant lines via the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. Knockout of RZ1AL reduced fruit lycopene content and weight in the cr-rz1al mutant plants. RZ1AL encodes a nucleus-localized protein that is associated with Cajal-related bodies. RNA-seq data demonstrated that the expression levels of genes that encode several key enzymes associated with carotenoid biosynthesis and metabolism were notably downregulated in cr-rz1al fruits. Proteomic analysis revealed that the levels of various ribosomal subunit proteins were reduced. This could affect the translation of ripening-related proteins such as ZDS. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that RZ1AL may participate in the regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis and metabolism and affect tomato development and fruit ripening.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberuhac134
JournalHorticulture Research
StatePublished - 2022

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