MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs (20-27 nt) required in many aspects of plant development, including establishment of leaf patterning, vascular system and lateral root development, among others. Most of these processes have been extensively studied in model plants such as Arabidopsis, although studies on economically important crops, such as tomato, are still incipient. In this work, we will generate transgenic Solanum lycopersicum cv. Micro-Tom plants overexpressing the microRNA159 precursor. Targets of miR159 include GAMYB genes, which encode transcription factors involved in gibberellin (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA) signaling during plant reproductive and vegetative development . Although some studies have investigated the roles of miR159 and GAMYB genes in the induction in the expression of hydrolytic enzymes necessary for germination and the activation of gene expression during endosperm development, the role of the genetic pathway miR159/GAMYB in the formation of vegetative tissues still needs to be investigated. Therefore, the transgenic plants generated in this study may help to elucidate the role (s) of miR159 and GAMYB genes in the formation of vegetative architecture in tomato.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: