Non-climacteric fruit ripening in pepper: increased transcription of EIL-like genes normally regulated by ethylene

Funct Integr Genomics. 2010 Mar;10(1):135-46. doi: 10.1007/s10142-009-0136-9. Epub 2009 Sep 16.


Only limited information has been published to date on the similarities and differences between climacteric and non-climacteric fruit ripening on transcriptional level. To address this issue, we performed a direct comparative transcriptome analysis between tomato and pepper fruits using heterologous microarray hybridization. Given the significant differences in the morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics of pepper and tomato fruits, the existence of extensive common regulons is surprising. This finding suggests the conservation of ripening mechanisms in climacteric and non-climacteric fruits. However, disparate expression profiles were also observed in both fruits. This study revealed that a gene that encodes an enzyme that converts lycopene to downstream carotenoids is induced in pepper but not in tomato. Most of the genes that encode ribosomal proteins are only induced in early fruit-stage pepper fruit and show rapidly diminishing expression in the later developmental stages. The genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis were not induced in pepper fruit. However, the EIL-like genes, ethylene-mediated signaling components, were induced in pepper fruit. Divergent types of transcription factors were expressed in ripening tomato and pepper fruits, suggesting they may be key factors that differentiate these distinct ripening processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Capsicum / drug effects
  • Capsicum / growth & development*
  • Carotenoids / biosynthesis
  • Ethylenes / biosynthesis
  • Ethylenes / pharmacology*
  • Fruit / drug effects
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Fruit / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects*
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / drug effects
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Organ Specificity / drug effects
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Quality Control
  • Species Specificity
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*


  • Ethylenes
  • Transcription Factors
  • Carotenoids
  • ethylene