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Article|02 Aug 2022|OPEN
Glycine-rich RNA-binding cofactor RZ1AL is associated with tomato ripening and development
Xindi Li1,2,3 , , Yongfang Yang4 , Ni Zeng1 , Guiqin Qu1 , Daqi Fu1 , Benzhong Zhu1 and Yunbo Luo1 , Oren Ostersetzer-Biran5 , Hongliang Zhu,1 ,
1College of Food Science & Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
2Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840, USA
3Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840, USA
4Tsinghua-Peking Center for Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
5Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra Campus - Givat Ram, Jerusalem 9190401, Israel
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac134 (2022)
Views: 273

Received: 22 Jan 2022
Accepted: 04 Jun 2022
Published online: 02 Aug 2022


Tomato ripening is a complex and dynamic process coordinated by many regulatory elements, including plant hormones, transcription factors, and numerous ripening-related RNAs and proteins. Although recent studies have shown that some RNA-binding proteins are involved in the regulation of the ripening process, understanding of how RNA-binding proteins affect fruit ripening is still limited. Here, we report the analysis of a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein, RZ1A-Like (RZ1AL), which plays an important role in tomato ripening, especially fruit coloring. To analyze the functions of RZ1AL in fruit development and ripening, we generated knockout cr-rz1al mutant lines via the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. Knockout of RZ1AL reduced fruit lycopene content and weight in the cr-rz1al mutant plants. RZ1AL encodes a nucleus-localized protein that is associated with Cajal-related bodies. RNA-seq data demonstrated that the expression levels of genes that encode several key enzymes associated with carotenoid biosynthesis and metabolism were notably downregulated in cr-rz1al fruits. Proteomic analysis revealed that the levels of various ribosomal subunit proteins were reduced. This could affect the translation of ripening-related proteins such as ZDS. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that RZ1AL may participate in the regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis and metabolism and affect tomato development and fruit ripening.