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The characterization of transgenic tomato overexpressing gibberellin 20-oxidase reveals induction of parthenocarpic fruit growth, higher yield, and alteration of the gibberellin biosynthetic pathway

AuthorsGarcía-Hurtado, Noemí ; Carrera, Esther ; Ruiz-Rivero, Omar; López-Gresa, Pilar ; Hedden, Peter; Gong, Fan; García-Martínez, José-Luis
KeywordsCv- micro-tom
Plant development
Apical shoot
Issue DateOct-2012
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationJournal of Experimental Botany 63/16: 5803-5813 (2012)
AbstractFruit-set and growth in tomato depend on the action of gibberellins (GAs). To evaluate the role of the GA biosynthetic enzyme GA 20-oxidase (GA20ox) in that process, the citrus gene CcGA20ox1 was overexpressed in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cv Micro-Tom. The transformed plants were taller, had non-serrated leaves, and some flowers displayed a protruding stigma due to a longer style, thus preventing self-pollination, similar to GA(3)-treated plants. Flowering was delayed compared with wild-type (WT) plants. Both yield and number of fruits per plant, some of them seedless, were higher in the transgenic plants. The Brix index value of fruit juice was also higher due to elevated citric acid content, but not glucose or fructose content. When emasculated, 1430% of ovaries from transgenic flowers developed parthenocarpically, whereas no parthenocarpy was found in emasculated WT flowers. The presence of early-13-hydroxylation and non-13-hydroxylation GA pathways was demonstrated in the shoot and fruit of Micro-Tom, as well as in two tall tomato cultivars (Ailsa Craig and UC-82). The transgenic plants had altered GA profiles containing higher concentrations of GA(4), from the non-13-hydroxylation pathway, which is generally a minor active GA in tomato. The effect of GA(4) application in enhancing stem growth and parthenocarpic fruit development was proportional to dose, with the same activity as GA(1). The results support the contention that GA20ox overexpression diverts GA metabolism from the early-13-hydroxylation pathway to the non-13-hydroxylation pathway. This led to enhanced GA(4) synthesis and higher yield, although the increase in GA(4) content in the ovary was not sufficient to induce full parthenocarpy.
Publisher version (URL)http//;dx.doi 10.1093/jxb/ers229
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