Tomato is currently the model plant for fleshy fruit development and for Solanaceae species. Recent genomic approaches including transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analyses and genetic mapping have produced a wealth of candidate genes whose function needs to be assessed. The recent development in model and crop plants of TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes), which reveals allelic series corresponding to several independent point mutations, and the current availability of deep sequencing tools further increase the interest of generating artificially-induced genetic diversity in tomato. We describe here the generation and use of EMS (ethyl methanesulfonate) tomato mutants in the miniature cultivar Micro-Tom and provide as example the identification of new fruit size and morphology mutants. We further propose new deep sequencing-based strategies for the discovery of mutations underlying phenotypic variations observed in mutant collections that will considerably increase the interest of exploiting Micro-Tom mutant collections for gene discovery in tomato.
2013 by Japanese Society for Plant Cell and Molecular Biology