Shapes of edible plant organs vary dramatically among and within crop plants. To explain and ultimately employ this variation towards crop improvement, we determined the genetic, molecular and cellular bases of fruit shape diversity in tomato. Through positional cloning, protein interaction studies, and genome editing, we report that OVATE Family Proteins and TONNEAU1 Recruiting Motif proteins regulate cell division patterns in ovary development to alter final fruit shape. The physical interactions between the members of these two families are necessary for dynamic relocalization of the protein complexes to different cellular compartments when expressed in tobacco leaf cells. Together with data from other domesticated crops and model plant species, the protein interaction studies provide possible mechanistic insights into the regulation of morphological variation in plants and a framework that may apply to organ growth in all plant species.

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Published in Nature Communications, v. 9, article no. 4734, p. 1-12.

© The Author(s) 2018

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Funding for this research has been provided by National Science Foundation IOS 0922661, the Ohio State Tornado Recovery Fund OHOA0499, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center SEEDS grant 2014018, University of Georgia 1021RX070014, USDA AFRI National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2017-67013-26199 (EvdK). Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center SEEDS grant 2014084 (SW). The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness/FEDER grant AGL2015-64625-C2-2-R (AJM). The USDA AFRI National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2015-51181-24285 (YW). The USDA AFRI National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2014-67013-22434 (SHJ).

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Raw sequence reads have been deposited into the DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ) under accessions SRP090032; SRP089970; SRA061767 for the mRNA seq data; and SRP127270 for the whole genome sequence data. The normalized expression data are also available at the Tomato Functional Genomics Database (TFGD; http://ted.bti.cornell.edu/) under the experiments D015 and D016. A Reporting Summary for this Article is available as a Supplementary Information file. Other methods can be found in the Supplementary Methods section in the Supplementary Information file.

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07216-8.

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Supplementary Information

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Description of Additional Supplementary Files

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Supplementary Data 1

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Supplementary Data 3

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Supplementary Data 4

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Reporting Summary