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Genetically modified parthenocarpic eggplants: improved fruit productivity under both greenhouse and open field cultivation.

Acciarri N, Restaino F, Vitelli G, Perrone D, Zottini M, Pandolfini T, Spena A, Rotino G - BMC Biotechnol. (2002)

Bottom Line: The iaaM gene codes for tryptophan monoxygenase and confers auxin synthesis, while the DefH9 controlling regions drive expression of the gene specifically in the ovules and placenta.The main advantages of DefH9-iaaM eggplants are: i) improved fruit productivity (at least 30-35%) under both greenhouse and open field cultivation; ii) production of good quality (marketable) fruits during different types of cultivation; iii) seedless fruit with improved quality.Such advantages have been achieved without the use of either male or female sterility genes.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Institute for Vegetable Crops, Monsampolo del Tronto, AP, Italy. acciarri@libero.it

ABSTRACT

Background: Parthenocarpy, or fruit development in the absence of fertilization, has been genetically engineered in eggplant and in other horticultural species by using the DefH9-iaaM gene. The iaaM gene codes for tryptophan monoxygenase and confers auxin synthesis, while the DefH9 controlling regions drive expression of the gene specifically in the ovules and placenta. A previous greenhouse trial for winter production of genetically engineered (GM) parthenocarpic eggplants demonstrated a significant increase (an average of 33% increase) in fruit production concomitant with a reduction in cultivation costs.

Results: GM parthenocarpic eggplants have been evaluated in three field trials. Two greenhouse spring trials have shown that these plants outyielded the corresponding untransformed genotypes, while a summer trial has shown that improved fruit productivity in GM eggplants can also be achieved in open field cultivation. Since the fruits were always seedless, the quality of GM eggplant fruits was improved as well. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the DefH9-iaaM gene is expressed during late stages of fruit development.

Conclusions: The DefH9-iaaM parthenocarpic gene is a biotechnological tool that enhances the agronomic value of all eggplant genotypes tested. The main advantages of DefH9-iaaM eggplants are: i) improved fruit productivity (at least 30-35%) under both greenhouse and open field cultivation; ii) production of good quality (marketable) fruits during different types of cultivation; iii) seedless fruit with improved quality. Such advantages have been achieved without the use of either male or female sterility genes.

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Eggplant fruits of the transgenic parthenocarpic hybrid P1 from the greenhouse spring trial. Left: fruit at the stage of commercial ripeness; middle: an overripe eggplant fruit from a border plant; right: a longitudinally cut fruit showing the complete absence of seeds.
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Figure 1: Eggplant fruits of the transgenic parthenocarpic hybrid P1 from the greenhouse spring trial. Left: fruit at the stage of commercial ripeness; middle: an overripe eggplant fruit from a border plant; right: a longitudinally cut fruit showing the complete absence of seeds.

Mentions: Spring production was evaluated in trials performed in two different locations: Monsampolo and Pontecagnano. Spring production was divided into early production, consisting of the first four harvests, and total production, consisting of sixteen harvests. Early spring production corresponds to the cultivation period from March to the first half of May, with temperatures somewhat low for fruit-set and growth. During this period, the average minimum and maximum temperatures ranged from 7° to 17°C in southern Italy (Pontecagnano) and from 14° to 17°C in central Italy (Monsampolo). The transgenic parthenocarpic hybrids gave a significantly higher yield, on the average a six-fold increase during early production, in comparison to their controls (Table 1). The increment in the number of fruits per plant and the higher average weight of the fruits were the main causes of the increased early spring production of the parthenocarpic hybrids. The suboptimal/adverse environmental conditions did not affect the growth of GM parthenocarpic fruits and the average fruit weight was significantly higher in the GM eggplants in comparison to untransformed controls. The traditional parthenocarpic cultivar Talina produced fruits with an average weight similar to those of GM eggplant fruits (Table 1). However, due to the higher number of fruits per plant, the productivity of the transgenic parthenocarpic hybrids was also increased, by an average of five-fold, when compared to cv Talina (Table 1). During the whole harvesting period, the GM fruits were always seedless (Fig. 1) and were normal in both size and shape.


Genetically modified parthenocarpic eggplants: improved fruit productivity under both greenhouse and open field cultivation.

Acciarri N, Restaino F, Vitelli G, Perrone D, Zottini M, Pandolfini T, Spena A, Rotino G - BMC Biotechnol. (2002)

Eggplant fruits of the transgenic parthenocarpic hybrid P1 from the greenhouse spring trial. Left: fruit at the stage of commercial ripeness; middle: an overripe eggplant fruit from a border plant; right: a longitudinally cut fruit showing the complete absence of seeds.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC101493&req=5

Figure 1: Eggplant fruits of the transgenic parthenocarpic hybrid P1 from the greenhouse spring trial. Left: fruit at the stage of commercial ripeness; middle: an overripe eggplant fruit from a border plant; right: a longitudinally cut fruit showing the complete absence of seeds.
Mentions: Spring production was evaluated in trials performed in two different locations: Monsampolo and Pontecagnano. Spring production was divided into early production, consisting of the first four harvests, and total production, consisting of sixteen harvests. Early spring production corresponds to the cultivation period from March to the first half of May, with temperatures somewhat low for fruit-set and growth. During this period, the average minimum and maximum temperatures ranged from 7° to 17°C in southern Italy (Pontecagnano) and from 14° to 17°C in central Italy (Monsampolo). The transgenic parthenocarpic hybrids gave a significantly higher yield, on the average a six-fold increase during early production, in comparison to their controls (Table 1). The increment in the number of fruits per plant and the higher average weight of the fruits were the main causes of the increased early spring production of the parthenocarpic hybrids. The suboptimal/adverse environmental conditions did not affect the growth of GM parthenocarpic fruits and the average fruit weight was significantly higher in the GM eggplants in comparison to untransformed controls. The traditional parthenocarpic cultivar Talina produced fruits with an average weight similar to those of GM eggplant fruits (Table 1). However, due to the higher number of fruits per plant, the productivity of the transgenic parthenocarpic hybrids was also increased, by an average of five-fold, when compared to cv Talina (Table 1). During the whole harvesting period, the GM fruits were always seedless (Fig. 1) and were normal in both size and shape.

Bottom Line: The iaaM gene codes for tryptophan monoxygenase and confers auxin synthesis, while the DefH9 controlling regions drive expression of the gene specifically in the ovules and placenta.The main advantages of DefH9-iaaM eggplants are: i) improved fruit productivity (at least 30-35%) under both greenhouse and open field cultivation; ii) production of good quality (marketable) fruits during different types of cultivation; iii) seedless fruit with improved quality.Such advantages have been achieved without the use of either male or female sterility genes.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Institute for Vegetable Crops, Monsampolo del Tronto, AP, Italy. acciarri@libero.it

ABSTRACT

Background: Parthenocarpy, or fruit development in the absence of fertilization, has been genetically engineered in eggplant and in other horticultural species by using the DefH9-iaaM gene. The iaaM gene codes for tryptophan monoxygenase and confers auxin synthesis, while the DefH9 controlling regions drive expression of the gene specifically in the ovules and placenta. A previous greenhouse trial for winter production of genetically engineered (GM) parthenocarpic eggplants demonstrated a significant increase (an average of 33% increase) in fruit production concomitant with a reduction in cultivation costs.

Results: GM parthenocarpic eggplants have been evaluated in three field trials. Two greenhouse spring trials have shown that these plants outyielded the corresponding untransformed genotypes, while a summer trial has shown that improved fruit productivity in GM eggplants can also be achieved in open field cultivation. Since the fruits were always seedless, the quality of GM eggplant fruits was improved as well. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the DefH9-iaaM gene is expressed during late stages of fruit development.

Conclusions: The DefH9-iaaM parthenocarpic gene is a biotechnological tool that enhances the agronomic value of all eggplant genotypes tested. The main advantages of DefH9-iaaM eggplants are: i) improved fruit productivity (at least 30-35%) under both greenhouse and open field cultivation; ii) production of good quality (marketable) fruits during different types of cultivation; iii) seedless fruit with improved quality. Such advantages have been achieved without the use of either male or female sterility genes.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus