Commercialization of a tomato with an antisense polygalacturonase gene: The FLAVR SAVR™ tomato story
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The FLAVR SAVR™ tomato was developed through the use of antisense RNA to regulate the expression of the enzyme polygalacturonase (PG) in ripening tomato fruit. This enzyme is one of the most abundant proteins in ripe tomato fruit and has long been thought to be responsible for softening in ripe tomatoes. The FLAVR SAVR™ tomato is the first genetically engineered whole food to be sold in commerce. The history of the development of this product is discussed beginning with the results of theoriginal antisense work (including conclusions regarding the role of PG in ripe tomatoes) and will be followed by a description of the regulatory and food safety assessment. Finally, the development of an operating business to produce, market and distribute a genetically engineered whole food product is discussed.
Key wordsFruit ripening antisense polygalacturonase
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