A manipulation of carotenoid metabolism influence biomass partitioning and fitness in tomato

Jianing Mi, Jose G. Vallarino, Ivan Petřík, Ondřej Novák, Sandra M. Correa, Monika Chodasiewicz, Michel Havaux, Manuel Rodriguez-Concepcion, Salim Al-Babili, Alisdair R. Fernie, Aleksandra Skirycz, Juan C. Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Improving yield, nutritional value and tolerance to abiotic stress are major targets of current breeding and biotechnological approaches that aim at increasing crop production and ensuring food security. Metabolic engineering of carotenoids, the precursor of vitamin-A and plant hormones that regulate plant growth and response to adverse growth conditions, has been mainly focusing on provitamin A biofortification or the production of high-value carotenoids. Here, we show that the introduction of a single gene of the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in different tomato cultivars induced profound metabolic alterations in carotenoid, apocarotenoid and phytohormones pathways. Alterations in isoprenoid- (abscisic acid, gibberellins, cytokinins) and non-isoprenoid (auxin and jasmonic acid) derived hormones together with enhanced xanthophyll content influenced biomass partitioning and abiotic stress tolerance (high light, salt, and drought), and it caused an up to 77% fruit yield increase and enhanced fruit's provitamin A content. In addition, metabolic and hormonal changes led to accumulation of key primary metabolites (e.g. osmoprotectants and antiaging agents) contributing with enhanced abiotic stress tolerance and fruit shelf life. Our findings pave the way for developing a new generation of crops that combine high productivity and increased nutritional value with the capability to cope with climate change-related environmental challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-180
Number of pages15
JournalMetabolic Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Abiotic stress tolerance
  • Apocarotenoids
  • Biomass and yield
  • Carotenoids
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Metabolites and lipids
  • Phytohormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'A manipulation of carotenoid metabolism influence biomass partitioning and fitness in tomato'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this