, Volume 223, Issue 6, pp 1272-1280
Date: 02 Dec 2005

Fruit-specific V-ATPase suppression in antisense-transgenic tomato reduces fruit growth and seed formation

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Abstract

The vacuole is a large, multifunctional organelle related to the processes of cell expansion, solute accumulation, regulation of cytoplasmic ion concentrations, pH homeostasis and osmoregulation, which are directly or indirectly achieved by vacuolar H+-pumps: vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase; EC 3.6.1.3) and vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase (V-PPase; EC 3.6.1.1). In this study, we produced antisense-transgenic tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) of the V-ATPase A subunit, which is under the control of the fruit-specific 2A11 promoter. One β-glucuronidase (GUS)-transgenic line (GUS control) and seven A subunit antisense-transgenic lines were obtained. The amount of V-ATPase A subunit mRNA in fruit decreased in all antisense-transgenic lines, but in leaves showed no difference compared with the GUS control line and the nontransformant, suggesting that suppression of the V-ATPase A subunit by a 2A11 promoter is limited to fruit. The antisense-transgenic plants had smaller fruits compared with the GUS control line and the nontransformant. Surprisingly, fruits from the antisense-transgenic plants, except the fruit that still had relatively high expression of A subunit mRNA, had few seeds. Sucrose concentration in fruits from the antisense-transgenic plants increased, but glucose and fructose concentrations did not change. These results show the importance of V-ATPase, not only in fruit growth, but also in seed formation and in sugar composition of tomato fruit.