Optimization of crop productivity in tomato using induced mutations in the florigen pathway

Soon Ju Park, Ke Jiang, Lior Tal, Yoav Yichie, Oron Gar, Dani Zamir, Yuval Eshed, Zachary B. Lippman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Naturally occurring genetic variation in the universal florigen flowering pathway has produced major advancements in crop domestication. However, variants that can maximize crop yields may not exist in natural populations. Here we show that tomato productivity can be fine-tuned and optimized by exploiting combinations of selected mutations in multiple florigen pathway components. By screening for chemically induced mutations that suppress the bushy, determinate growth habit of field tomatoes, we isolated a new weak allele of the florigen gene SINGLE FLOWER TRUSS (SFT) and two mutations affecting a bZIP transcription factor component of the 'florigen activation complex' (ref. 11). By combining heterozygous mutations, we pinpointed an optimal balance of flowering signals, resulting in a new partially determinate architecture that translated to maximum yields. We propose that harnessing mutations in the florigen pathway to customize plant architecture and flower production offers a broad toolkit to boost crop productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1342
Number of pages6
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation1237880
United States - Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development FundIS4536-12C
European Research Council
Israel Science Foundation1294-10


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