Characteristics of the tomato chromoplast revealed by proteomic analysis

J Exp Bot. 2010 May;61(9):2413-31. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erq070. Epub 2010 Apr 2.


Chromoplasts are non-photosynthetic specialized plastids that are important in ripening tomato fruit (Solanum lycopersicum) since, among other functions, they are the site of accumulation of coloured compounds. Analysis of the proteome of red fruit chromoplasts revealed the presence of 988 proteins corresponding to 802 Arabidopsis unigenes, among which 209 had not been listed so far in plastidial databanks. These data revealed several features of the chromoplast. Proteins of lipid metabolism and trafficking were well represented, including all the proteins of the lipoxygenase pathway required for the synthesis of lipid-derived aroma volatiles. Proteins involved in starch synthesis co-existed with several starch-degrading proteins and starch excess proteins. Chromoplasts lacked proteins of the chlorophyll biosynthesis branch and contained proteins involved in chlorophyll degradation. None of the proteins involved in the thylakoid transport machinery were discovered. Surprisingly, chromoplasts contain the entire set of Calvin cycle proteins including Rubisco, as well as the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OxPPP). The present proteomic analysis, combined with available physiological data, provides new insights into the metabolic characteristics of the tomato chromoplast and enriches our knowledge of non-photosynthetic plastids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plastids / chemistry*
  • Plastids / genetics
  • Plastids / metabolism
  • Proteomics*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / genetics
  • Solanum lycopersicum / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins