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Science. 1995 Dec 22;270(5244):1986-8.

Inhibition of leaf senescence by autoregulated production of cytokinin.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 53706-1569, USA.


Controlling expression of IPT, a gene encoding isopentenyltransferase (the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cytokinin biosynthesis), with a senescence-specific promoter results in the suppression of leaf senescence. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing this chimeric gene do not exhibit the developmental abnormalities usually associated with IPT expression because the system is autoregulatory. Because sufficient cytokinin is produced to retard senescence, the activity of the senescence-specific promoter is attenulated. Senescence-retarded leaves exhibit a prolonged, photosythetically active life-span. This result demonstrates that endogenously produced cytokinin can regulate senescence and provides a system to specifically manipulate the senescence program.

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