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Article|01 Nov 2020|OPEN
The loss of function of HEL, which encodes a cellulose synthase interactive protein, causes helical and vine-like growth of tomato
Qihong Yang1, Xiaoshuai Wan1, Jiaying Wang1, Yuyang Zhang1, Junhong Zhang1, Taotao Wang1, Changxian Yang1, & Zhibiao Ye1,
1Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

Horticulture Research 7,
Article number: 180 (2020)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2020.180
Views: 538

Received: 10 May 2020
Revised: 21 Jul 2020
Accepted: 27 Jul 2020
Published online: 01 Nov 2020


Helical growth is an economical way for plant to obtain resources. The classic microtubule–microfibril alignment model of Arabidopsis helical growth involves restriction of the appropriate orientation of cellulose microfibrils appropriately in the cell walls. However, the molecular mechanism underlying tomato helical growth remains unknown. Here, we identified a spontaneous tomato helical (hel) mutant with right-handed helical cotyledons and petals but left-handed helical stems and true leaves. Genetic analysis revealed that the hel phenotype was controlled by a single recessive gene. Using map-based cloning, we cloned the HEL gene, which encodes a cellulose interacting protein homologous to CSI1 of Arabidopsis. We identified a 27 bp fragment replacement that generated a premature stop codon. Transgenic experiments showed that the helical growth phenotype could be restored by the allele of this gene from wild-type Pyriforme. In contrast, the knockout mutation of HEL in Pyriforme via CRISPR/Cas9 resulted in helical growth. These findings shed light on the molecular control of the helical growth of tomato.