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Antisense inhibition of pectin esterase gene expression in transgenic tomatoes

Hall, Lisa N., Tucker, Gregory A., Smith, Christopher J.S., Watson, Colin F., Seymour, Graham B., Bundick, Yvonne, Boniwell, Jeremy M., Fletcher, Jonathan D., Ray, John A., Schuch, Wolfgang, Bird, Colin R., Grierson, Don
The plant journal 1993 v.3 no.1 pp. 121-129
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, antisense RNA, chimerism, complementary DNA, enzyme activity, esterification, fruiting, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, isozymes, leaves, messenger RNA, pectinesterase, pectins, ripening, roots, tomatoes, transgenic plants
Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Ailsa Craig) were transformed with chimaeric pectin esterase (PE; EC antisense RNA genes, based on a cDNA isolated from a tomato fruit library. PE enzyme activity in ripe fruit of these plants was reduced by up to 93%, as a result of inhibition of PE mRNA accumulation from an endogenous gene, or genes. No major differences in fruit development and ripening were apparent, although pectin remained more heavily esterified (methylated) at all stages of fruit development, thus confirming that PE has a role in pectin deā€esterification in vivo. PE enzyme activity was unaffected in leaves or roots of the transformants, although antisense RNA transcripts were detected. This observation, and immunological differences between PE isoenzymes in leaves and roots compared to fruit, indicate differential expression of PE isoenzymes in these organs.