About this Research Topic
Most of our knowledge of fleshy fruit development, ripening and quality traits comes from work done in a reduced number of species that are not only of economic importance but can also benefit from a number of genetic and genomic tools available to their specific research communities. For instance, working with tomato and grape offers several advantages since the genome sequences of these two fleshy fruit species have been deciphered and a wide range of biological and genetic resources have been developed. Ripening mutants are available for tomato which constitutes the main model system for fruit functional genomics. In addition, tomato is used as a reference species for climacteric fruit which ripening is controlled by the phytohormone ethylene. Likewise, grape is a reference species for non-climacteric fruit even though no single master switches controlling ripening initiation have been uncovered yet. In the last period, the genome sequence of an increased number of fruit crop species became available, which creates a suitable situation for research communities around crops to get organized and information to be shared through public repositories. On the other hand, the availability of genome-wide expression profiling technologies has enabled an easier study of global transcriptional changes in fruit species where the sequenced genome is not yet available.
In this issue authors will present recent progress including original data as well as authoritative reviews on our understanding of fleshy fruit biology focusing on tomato and grape as model species.
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