Fruits harvested from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants carrying mutations at the DAMAGED DNA BINDING PROTEIN 1 gene (SlDDB1; hp-1 and hp-1 w) are characterized by significantly elevated levels of lycopene and several other phytonutrients. We hypothesize that the pleotropic effect on mutant Slddb1 are some general function of DDB1 protein on cell growth. The main objective of this research was to carry out functional analysis of the mutant SlDDB1 alleles both in-planta and ex-planta in comparison to their normal counterparts. Our major results indicate that: mutant Slddb1 seedlings exhibited delayed growth and smaller cell size, greater chloroplast density, smaller chloroplasts and higher concentration of chlorophyll. Cotyledons cells of Slddb1 mutant also displayed abnormal stomatal pattern, reduced content of CDT1 transcript and altered response to cytokinin. Some of these observations were previously described to be connected to defects in cell cycle control. Our results, coupled with former studies, also suggest that the CDD complex (composed of DDB1, DET1 and COP10) mediate the effect of light and cytokinin activity by possibly regulating the replication licensing factor CDT1 thus affecting both cell size and plastid multiplication.
- Chloroplast compartment size