Cutinsomes and CUTIN SYNTHASE1 Function Sequentially in Tomato Fruit Cutin Deposition

The aerial parts of plants, including the leaves, fruits and non-lignified stems, are covered with a protective cuticle, largely composed of the polyester cutin. Two mechanisms of cutin deposition have been identified in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit. The contribution of each mechanism to cutin synthesis and deposition has shown a temporal and coordinated sequence that correlates with the two periods of organ growth, cell division and cell expansion. Cutinsomes, self-assembled particles composed of esterified cutin monomers, are involved in the synthesis of the procuticle during cell division and provide a template for further cutin deposition. CUTIN SYNTHASE1 (CUS1), an acyl transferase enzyme that links cutin monomers, contributes to massive cuticle deposition during the early stages of the cell expansion period by incorporating additional cutin to the procuticle template. However, cutin deposition and polymerization appear to be part of a more complex biological scenario, which is yet not fully understood. CUS1 is also associated with the coordinated growth of the cutinized and non-cutinized domains of the outer epidermal wall, and affects cell size. A dynamic and complex interplay linking cutin synthesis with cell wall development and epidermal cell size has been identified.

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