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Nat Biotechnol. 1997 Dec;15(13):1398-401.

Genetic engineering of parthenocarpic plants.

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Research Institute for Vegetable Crops, Montanaso Lombardo, Italy.


Transgenic tobacco and eggplants expressing the coding region of the iaaM gene from Pseudomonas syringae pv. savastanoi, under the control of the regulatory sequences of the ovule-specific DefH9 gene from Antirrhinum majus, showed parthenocarpic fruit development. Expression of the DefH9-iaaM chimeric transgene occurs during flower development in both tobacco and eggplant. Seedless fruits were produced by emasculated flowers. When pollinated, the parthenocarpic plants produced fruits containing seeds. In eggplant, the genetic manipulation allowed fruit set and growth under environmental conditions prohibitive for fruit setting in the untransformed line, which did not set fruit at all. Under normal environmental conditions, production of marketable fruits took place from pollinated and unpollinated transgenic flowers, while flowers of untransformed control plants did produce fruits of marketable size only from fertilized flowers.

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