Plastid Proteomic Analysis in Tomato Fruit Development

PLoS One. 2015 Sep 15;10(9):e0137266. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137266. eCollection 2015.


To better understand the mechanism of plastid differentiation from chloroplast to chromoplast, we examined proteome and plastid changes over four distinct developmental stages of 'Micro-Tom' fruit. Additionally, to discover more about the relationship between fruit color and plastid differentiation, we also analyzed and compared 'Micro-Tom' results with those from two other varieties, 'Black' and 'White Beauty'. We confirmed that proteins related to photosynthesis remain through the orange maturity stage of 'Micro-Tom', and also learned that thylakoids no longer exist at this stage. These results suggest that at a minimum there are changes in plastid morphology occurring before all related proteins change. We also compared 'Micro-Tom' fruits with 'Black' and 'White Beauty' using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. We found a decrease of CHRC (plastid-lipid-associated protein) and HrBP1 (harpin binding protein-1) in the 'Black' and 'White Beauty' varieties. CHRC is involved in carotenoid accumulation and stabilization. HrBP1 in Arabidopsis has a sequence similar to proteins in the PAP/fibrillin family. These proteins have characteristics and functions similar to lipocalin, an example of which is the transport of hydrophobic molecules. We detected spots of TIL (temperature-induced lipocalin) in 2D-PAGE results, however the number of spots and their isoelectric points differed between 'Micro-Tom' and 'Black'/'White Beauty'. Lipocalin has various functions including those related to environmental stress response, apoptosis induction, membrane formation and fixation, regulation of immune response, cell growth, and metabolism adjustment. Lipocalin related proteins such as TIL and HrBP1 could be related to the accumulation of carotenoids, fruit color and the differentiation of chromoplast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Fruit / growth & development*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / cytology*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism*
  • Pigmentation
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plastids / metabolism*
  • Proteomics*


  • Flavonoids
  • Plant Proteins
  • Carotenoids

Grant support

This research was made possible by the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, a program administered by the Japanese Ministry of Education (No. 20510190 and 23580039 to RM), The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.