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  • Kazachkova, Y.
  • Zemach, I.
  • Bocobza, S.
  • Vainer, A.
  • Rogachev, I.
  • Dong, Y.
    Ben-Dor, S.
  • Veres, D.
  • Kanstrup, C.
  • Lambertz, S.K.
  • Crocoll, C.
  • Hu, Y.
  • Shani, E.
  • Michaeli, S.
  • Nour-Eldin, H.H.
  • Zamir, D.
  • Aharoni, A.

Fruit taste is determined by sugars, acids and in some species, bitter chemicals. Attraction of seed-dispersing organisms in nature and breeding for consumer preferences requires reduced fruit bitterness. A key metabolic shift during ripening prevents tomato fruit bitterness by eliminating α-tomatine, a renowned defence-associated Solanum alkaloid. Here, we combined fine mapping with information from 150 resequenced genomes and genotyping a 650-tomato core collection to identify nine bitter-tasting accessions including the ‘high tomatine’ Peruvian landraces reported in the literature. These ‘bitter’ accessions contain a deletion in GORKY, a nitrate/peptide family transporter mediating α-tomatine subcellular localization during fruit ripening. GORKY exports α-tomatine and its derivatives from the vacuole to the cytosol and this facilitates the conversion of the entire α-tomatine pool to non-bitter forms, rendering the fruit palatable. Hence, GORKY activity was a notable innovation in the process of tomato fruit domestication and breeding.

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The GORKY glycoalkaloid transporter is indispensable for preventing tomato bitterness
  • Kazachkova, Y.
  • Zemach, I.
  • Bocobza, S.
  • Vainer, A.
  • Rogachev, I.
  • Dong, Y.
    Ben-Dor, S.
  • Veres, D.
  • Kanstrup, C.
  • Lambertz, S.K.
  • Crocoll, C.
  • Hu, Y.
  • Shani, E.
  • Michaeli, S.
  • Nour-Eldin, H.H.
  • Zamir, D.
  • Aharoni, A.
The GORKY glycoalkaloid transporter is indispensable for preventing tomato bitterness

Fruit taste is determined by sugars, acids and in some species, bitter chemicals. Attraction of seed-dispersing organisms in nature and breeding for consumer preferences requires reduced fruit bitterness. A key metabolic shift during ripening prevents tomato fruit bitterness by eliminating α-tomatine, a renowned defence-associated Solanum alkaloid. Here, we combined fine mapping with information from 150 resequenced genomes and genotyping a 650-tomato core collection to identify nine bitter-tasting accessions including the ‘high tomatine’ Peruvian landraces reported in the literature. These ‘bitter’ accessions contain a deletion in GORKY, a nitrate/peptide family transporter mediating α-tomatine subcellular localization during fruit ripening. GORKY exports α-tomatine and its derivatives from the vacuole to the cytosol and this facilitates the conversion of the entire α-tomatine pool to non-bitter forms, rendering the fruit palatable. Hence, GORKY activity was a notable innovation in the process of tomato fruit domestication and breeding.

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