Authors:DanielaD’Esposito, Elisa Cappetta, Giuseppe Andolfo, Francesca Ferriello, Camilla Borgonuovo, Gianluca Caruso, Antonino De Natale, Luigi Frusciante, Maria Raffaella Ercolano


  • Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Via Università 100, 80055, Portici, Naples, Italy
  • Department of Biology, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Via Cinthia, Monte Sant’Angelo, Building 7, 80126, Naples, Italy

Publication: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

Date: August, 2019

Full paper: Deciphering the biological processes underlying tomato biomass production and composition


The huge amounts of biomass residues, remaining in the field after tomato fruits harvesting, can be utilized to produce bioenergy. A multiple level approach aimed to characterize two Solanum pennellii introgression lines (ILs), with contrasting phenotypes for plant architecture and biomass was carried out. The study of gene expression dynamics, microscopy cell traits and qualitative and quantitative cell wall chemical compounds variation enabled the discovery of key genes and cell processes involved biomass accumulation and composition. Enhanced biomass production observed in IL2-6 line is due to a more effective coordination of chloroplasts and mitochondria energy fluxes. Microscopy analysis revealed a higher number of cells and chloroplasts in leaf epidermis in the high biomass line whilst chemical measurements on the two lines pointed out striking differences in the cell wall composition and organization. Taken together, our findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying the tomato biomass production and processability.