The effect of chimeric transgene architecture on co-ordinated gene silencing
Two gene constructs were made consisting of a 244-bp sense fragment from the 5′ end of a polygalacturonase cDNA, the 3′ end of which was ligated to a 414-bp fragment from the 5′ end of a phytoene synthase cDNA. In the first construct, the phytoene synthase fragment was in a sense orientation (sense/sense chimeric gene) and in the second construct the phytoene synthase fragment was in an antisense orientation (sense/antisense chimeric gene). Both chimeric genes were inserted between a cauliflower mosaic virus promoter and terminator. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Ailsa Craig) plants transformed with each construct gave rise to transformants with three distinct phenotypes: plants with red fruit, plants with pure yellow fruit and plants with red and yellow sectored fruit. For both chimeric constructs, expression of the endogenous polygalacturonase and phytoene synthase genes were found to be co-ordinately suppressed in yellow tissue, but showed normal expression in red tissue. Data from microscopic analyses of fruit chromoplasts, from the three phenotypes, implied that phytoene synthase suppression from each construct predominantly had two states within a cell: on or off.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.