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Plant Physiol. 1991 Feb;95(2):420-5.

Slow-growth phenotype of transgenic tomato expressing apoplastic invertase.

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Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0116.


The growth of transgenic tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) plants that express in their apoplast yeast invertase under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter is severely inhibited. The higher the level of invertase, the greater the inhibition of growth. A second phenotypic characteristic of these transgenic plants is the development of yellow and necrotic spots on the leaves, and leaf curling. Again the severity of the symptoms is correlated with the level of invertase. These symptoms do not develop in shaded leaves indicating the need for photosynthesis. Keeping the plants in the dark for a prolonged period (24 hours) results in the disappearance of leaf starch from the control plants, but not from the plants with apoplastic invertase. These results are consistent with the interpretation that apoplastic invertase prevents photosynthate export from source leaves and that phloem loading includes an apoplastic step.

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