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Using map-based cloning of ts gene, we identified a new sort of gene involved in the initiation of multicellular tender spine in cucumber. The cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) fruit contains spines on the surface, which is an extremely valuable quality trait affecting the selection of customers. In this study, we elaborated cucumber line NC072 with wild type (WT) hard fruit spines and its spontaneous mutant NC073, possessing tender and soft spines on fruits. The mutant trait was named as tender spines (ts), which is controlled by a single recessive nuclear gene. We identified the gene ts by map-based cloning with an F2 segregating population of 721 individuals generated from NC073 and WT line SA419-2. It was located between two markers Indel6239679 and Indel6349344, 109.7 kb physical distance on chromosome 1 containing fifteen putative genes. With sequencing and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis, the Csa1G056960 gene was considered as the most possible candidate gene of ts. In the mutant, Csa1G056960 has a nucleotide change in the 5' splicing site of the second intron, which causes different splicing to delete the second exon, resulting in a N-terminal deletion in the predicted amino acid sequence. The gene encodes a C-type lectin receptor-like tyrosine-protein kinase which would play an important role in the formation of cucumber fruit. This is firstly reported of a receptor kinase gene regulating the development of multicellular spines/trichomes in plants. The ts allele could accelerate the molecular breeding of cucumber soft spines.


Chunli Guo, Xuqin Yang, Yunli Wang, Jingtao Nie, Yi Yang, Jingxian Sun, Hui Du, Wenying Zhu, Jian Pan, Yue Chen, Duo Lv, Huanle He, Hongli Lian, Junsong Pan, Run Cai. Identification and mapping of ts (tender spines), a gene involved in soft spine development in Cucumis sativus. TAG. Theoretical and applied genetics. Theoretische und angewandte Genetik. 2018 Jan;131(1):1-12

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PMID: 29116330

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