An ethylene-inducible component of signal transduction encoded by 'Never-ripe'
The ripening-impaired tomato mutant Never-ripe (Nr) is insensitive to the plant hormone ethylene. The gene that cosegregates with the Nr locus encodes a protein with homology to the Arabidopsis ethylene receptor ETR1 but is lacking the response regulator domain found in ETR1 and related prokaryotic two-component signal transducers. A single amino acid change in the sensor domain confers ethylene insensitivity when expressed in transgenic tomato plants. Modulation of Nr gene expression during fruit ripening controls response to the hormone ethylene.