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Article|28 Jan 2022|OPEN
Functional characterization of the tomato HAIRPLUS gene reveals the implication of the epigenome in the control of glandular trichome formation
Rocío Fonseca1 ,† , Carmen Capel1 ,† , Fernando J. Yuste-Lisbona1 , Jorge L. Quispe1 , Cristina Gómez-Martín2,3 , Ricardo Lebrón2,3 , Michael Hackenberg2,3 and José L. Oliver2,3 , Trinidad Angosto1 , Rafael Lozano1 , Juan Capel,1 ,
1Centro de Investigación en Agrosistemas Intensivos Mediterráneos y Biotecnología Agroalimentaria (CIAIMBITAL), Universidad de Almería, Carretera de Sacramento s/n, 04120 Almería, Spain
2Department of Genetics, Faculty of Science, University of Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain
3Laboratory of Bioinformatics, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, PTS, Avda. del Conocimiento s/n,18100 Granada, Spain
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhab015 (2022)
Views: 26

Received: 01 Aug 2021
Revised: 18 Jan 2022
Accepted: 01 Oct 2021
Published online: 28 Jan 2022


Trichomes are specialised epidermal cells developed in the aerial surface of almost every terrestrial plant. These structures form physical barriers, which combined with their capability of synthesis of complex molecules, prevent plagues from spreading and confer trichomes a key role in the defence against herbivores. In this work, the tomato gene HAIRPLUS (HAP) that controls glandular trichome density in tomato plants was characterised. HAP belongs to a group of proteins involved in histone tail modifications although some also bind methylated DNA. HAP loss of function promotes epigenomic modifications in the tomato genome reflected in numerous differentially methylated cytosines and causes transcriptomic changes in hap mutant plants. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that HAP links epigenome remodelling with multicellular glandular trichome development and reveal that HAP is a valuable genomic tool for pest resistance in tomato breeding.