Development of fruit color in Solanaceae: a story of two biosynthetic pathways

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This review highlights the major differences between the regulation of two important pathways namely anthocyanin and carotenoid pathways, responsible for fruit color generation in Solanaceae mediated by transcription factors (TFs). The anthocyanin pathway is regulated by a common set of TFs (MYB, MYC and WD40) belonging to specific families of DNA-binding proteins. Their regulation is aimed at controlling the type and amount of pigments produced and the physiological conditions (like pH) at which they are finally stored. In the carotenoid pathway, the color diversity depends on the quantity of pigment produced and the point where the pathway is arrested. TFs in the latter case are accordingly found to influence the sequestration and degradation of these pigments, which determines their final concentration in the tissue. TFs (phytochrome interacting factors, MADS-BOX, HB-ZIP and B-ZIP) also regulate important rate-determining steps, which decide the direction in which the pathway proceeds and the point at which it is terminated. In the absence of a clear pattern of TF-mediated regulation, it is suggested that the carotenoid pathway is more significantly influenced by other regulatory methods which need to be explored. It is expected that common factors affecting these pathways are the ones acting much before the initiation of the biosynthesis of respective pigments.

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