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FEBS Lett. 2003 Apr 10;540(1-3):35-40.

Constitutive overexpression of barley 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase in tobacco results in elevation of the vitamin E content in seeds but not in leaves.

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Institute of Botany, University of Kiel, Olshausenstrasse 40, D-24098 Kiel, Germany.


With the aim to enhance the plant vitamin E content, the barley gene encoding 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase was overexpressed in tobacco plants under control of the 35S promoter. Transgenic lines have a higher capacity for homogentisate biosynthesis as evident by a more than 10-fold higher resistance towards the bleaching herbicide sulcotrione. Seeds from transgenic lines have an up to two-fold enhanced level of vitamin E without a change in the ratio of gamma-tocopherol and gamma-tocotrienol. While the vitamin E content is not affected in leaves, the level of plastoquinone is enhanced in leaves of transgenic lines during leaf senescence.

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