The Solanum lycopersicum auxin response factor 7 (SlARF7) regulates auxin signaling during tomato fruit set and development

Plant J. 2009 Jan;57(1):160-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03671.x. Epub 2008 Oct 4.


Auxin response factors (ARFs) are encoded by a gene family of transcription factors that specifically control auxin-dependent developmental processes. A tomato ARF gene, homologous to Arabidopsis NPH4/ARF7 and therefore designated as Solanum lycopersicum ARF7 (SlARF7), was found to be expressed at a high level in unpollinated mature ovaries. More detailed analysis of tomato ovaries showed that the level of SlARF7 transcript increases during flower development, remains at a constant high level in mature flowers, and is down-regulated within 48 h after pollination. Transgenic plants with decreased SlARF7 mRNA levels formed seedless (parthenocarpic) fruits. These fruits were heart-shaped and had a rather thick pericarp due to increased cell expansion, compared with the pericarp of wild-type fruits. The expression analysis, together with the parthenocarpic fruit phenotype of the transgenic lines, suggests that, in tomato, SlARF7 acts as a negative regulator of fruit set until pollination and fertilization have taken place, and moderates the auxin response during fruit growth.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Fruit / growth & development*
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Plant
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EF121545
  • GENBANK/EU543264