In vascular and nonvascular plants, PHOSPHATE1 (PHO1) homologs have vital
functions in the harvesting and transferring of phosphate. In tomatoes, six
genes (SlPHO1;1$B!>(BSlPHO1;6) are homologous to Arabidopsis' PHO1 (AtPHO1).
Thus, scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences used CRISPR-Cas9 to reveal
the function of PHO1 in phosphate nutrition of tomatoes.
An analysis showed that SlPHO1 family is composed of three clusters, wherein
SlPHO1;1 is the most similar to AtPHO1. SlPHO1;1 deletion mutants induced by
CRISPR-Cas9 displayed typical symptoms of inorganic phosphate (Pi)
starvation, such as decreased shoot fresh weight and increased root fresh
weight, therefore having a greater root-to-shoot ratio. Mutants also
exhibited higher levels of anthocyanin and soluble Pi in the root and less
in the shoot.
The findings imply that indicate that SlPHO1;1 plays an important role in Pi
transport in the tomato at the seedling stage.