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Physiol Plant. 2001 Apr;111(4):545-550.

Role of gibberellins in parthenocarpic fruit development induced by the genetic system pat-3/pat-4 in tomato.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-CSIC, Avda de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain; Departamento de Biología Vegetal, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and Avda de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain; Departamento de Biotecnología (Genética y Mejora Vegetal), Centro de Conservación y Mejora de la Agrodiversidad, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Avda de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain.


The role of gibberellins (GAs) in the induction of parthenocarpic fruit-set and growth by the pat-3/pat-4 genetic system in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) was investigated using wild type (WT; Cuarenteno) and a near-isogenic line derived from the German line RP75/59 (the source of pat-3/pat-4 parthenocarpy). Unpollinated WT ovaries degenerated but GA3 application induced parthenocarpic fruit growth. On the contrary, parthenocarpic growth of pat-3/pat-4 fruits, which occurs in the absence of pollination and hormone treatment, was not affected by applied GA3. Unpollinated pat-3/pat-4 fruit growth was negated by paclobutrazol, an inhibitor of ent-kaurene oxidase, and this inhibitory effect was negated by GA3. The quantification of the main GAs of the early 13-hydroxylation pathway (GA1, GA8, GA19, GA20, GA29 and GA44) in unpollinated ovaries at 3 developmental stages (flower bud, FB; pre-anthesis, PR; and anthesis, AN), by gas chromatography-selected ion monitoring, showed that the concentration of most of them was higher in pat-3/pat-4 than in WT ovaries at PR and AN stages. The concentration of GA1, suggested previously to be the active GA in tomate, was 2-4 times higher. Unpollinated pat-3/pat-4 ovaries at FB, PR and AN stages also contained relatively high amounts (5-12 ng g-1) of GA3, a GA found at less than 0.5 ng g-1 in WT ovaries. It is concluded that the mutations pat-3/pat-4 may induce natural facultative parthenocarpy capacity in tomato by increasing the concentration of GA1 and GA3 in the ovaries before pollination.


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