The tomato dark green mutation is a novel allele of the tomato homolog of the DEETIOLATED1 gene

Theor Appl Genet. 2003 Feb;106(3):454-60. doi: 10.1007/s00122-002-1080-4. Epub 2002 Oct 23.


A comprehensive, multi-generation, allele test, carried out in this study, suggests that the tomato mutations dark-green (dg) and high pigment 2(j) (hp-2(j)) are allelic. The hp-2(j) mutant is caused by a mutation in the tomato homolog of the DEETIOLATED1 (DET1) gene, involved in the signal transduction cascade of light perception and morphogenesis. This suggestion is in agreement with the exaggerated photomorphogenic de-etiolation response of homozygous dg mutants grown under modulated light conditions. Sequence analysis of the DET1 gene was carried out in dg mutants representing two different lines, and revealed a single A-to-T base transversion in the second exon of the DET1 gene in comparison with the normal wild-type sequence. This transversion results in a conserved Asparagine(34)-to-Isoleucine(34) amino-acid substitution, and eliminates a recognition site for the AclI restriction endonuclease, present in the wild-type and in the other currently known tomato mutants at the DET1 locus. This polymorphism was used to develop a PCR-based DNA marker, which enables an early genotypic selection for breeding lycopene-rich tomatoes. Using this marker and sequence analysis we demonstrate that an identical base transversion also exists in dg mutants of the cultivar Manapal, in which the natural dg mutation was originally discovered. A linkage analysis, carried out in a F(2) population, shows a very strong linkage association between the DET1 locus of dg mutant plants and the photomorphogenic response of the seedlings, measured as hypocotyl length (12 < LOD Score < 13, R(2) = 51.1%). The results presented in this study strongly support the hypothesis that the tomato dg mutation is a novel allele of the tomato homolog of the DET1 gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Markers
  • Light
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Solanum lycopersicum / genetics*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / growth & development


  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Markers
  • Plant Proteins
  • tDET1 protein, Lycopersicon esculentum