To gain insight into the genetic regulation of lipid metabolism in tomato, we conducted metabolic trait loci (mQTL) analysis following the lipidomic profiling of fruit pericarp and leaf tissue of the Solanum pennellii introgression lines (IL). To enhance mapping resolution for selected fruit-specific mQTL, we profiled the lipids in a subset of independently derived S. pennellii backcross inbred lines, as well as in a near-isogenic sub-IL population. We identified a putative lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase that controls the levels of several lipids, and two members of the class III lipase family, LIP1 and LIP2, that were associated with decreased levels of diacylglycerols (DAGs) and triacylglycerols (TAGs). Lipases of this class cleave fatty acids from the glycerol backbone of acylglycerols. The released fatty acids serve as precursors of flavor volatiles. We show that LIP1 expression correlates with fatty acid-derived volatile levels. We further confirm the function of LIP1 in TAG and DAG breakdown and volatile synthesis using transgenic plants. Taken together, our study extensively characterized the genetic architecture of lipophilic compounds in tomato and demonstrated at molecular level that release of free fatty acids from the glycerol backbone can have a major impact on downstream volatile synthesis. In this work, we conducted large-scale lipid profiling of fruit pericarp and leaf materials of a population of S. pennellii introgression line to gain insight into the genetic regulation of lipid metabolism in tomato. By combination of QTL mapping, metabolic and transcriptomic data, we identified and cloned novel lipid–genes that have a major effect on production of multiple fatty acid-derived flavor volatiles. These metabolites are positively correlated with consumer liking and are crucial for key agronomical traits in tomato.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Plant Science