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Article|07 Jun 2023|OPEN
Molecular and genetic regulations of fleshy fruit shape and lessons from Arabidopsis and rice
Qiang Li1 ,† , Shuangxia Luo1 ,† , Liying Zhang1 , Qian Feng2 , Lijun Song1 , Manoj Sapkota2 , Shuxin Xuan1 , Yanhua Wang1 , Jianjun Zhao1 , Esther van der Knaap2 , , Xueping Chen1 , and Shuxing Shen,1 ,
1College of Horticulture, State Key Laboratory of North China Crop Improvement and Regulation, Key Laboratory of Vegetable Germplasm Innovation and Utilization of Hebei, Collaborative Innovation Center of Vegetable Industry in Hebei, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, Hebei 071000, China
2Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,,
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad108 (2023)
Views: 169

Received: 07 Dec 2022
Accepted: 12 May 2023
Published online: 07 Jun 2023


Fleshy fruit shape is an important external quality trait influencing the usage of fruits and consumer preference. Thus, modification of fruit shape has become one of the major objectives for crop improvement. However, the underlying mechanisms of fruit shape regulation are poorly understood. In this review we summarize recent progress in the genetic basis of fleshy fruit shape regulation using tomato, cucumber, and peach as examples. Comparative analyses suggest that the OFP-TRM (OVATE Family Protein - TONNEAU1 Recruiting Motif) and IQD (IQ67 domain) pathways are probably conserved in regulating fruit shape by primarily modulating cell division patterns across fleshy fruit species. Interestingly, cucumber homologs of FRUITFULL (FUL1), CRABS CLAW (CRC) and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase 2 (ACS2) were found to regulate fruit elongation. We also outline the recent progress in fruit shape regulation mediated by OFP-TRM and IQD pathways in Arabidopsis and rice, and propose that the OFP-TRM pathway and IQD pathway coordinate regulate fruit shape through integration of phytohormones, including brassinosteroids, gibberellic acids, and auxin, and microtubule organization. In addition, functional redundancy and divergence of the members of each of the OFP, TRM, and IQD families are also shown. This review provides a general overview of current knowledge in fruit shape regulation and discusses the possible mechanisms that need to be addressed in future studies.