, 216:23 | Cite as

Histological evaluation of pineapple transgenic plants following 8 years of field growth

  • Lourdes Yabor
  • Lisbet Pérez
  • Daviel Gómez
  • Ariel Villalobos-Olivera
  • José Ramón Mendoza
  • Julia Martínez
  • Doris Escalante
  • Giovanni Garro
  • Elliosha Hajari
  • José Carlos LorenzoEmail author


Pineapple is among the most important fruits worldwide. However, the narrow genetic base of current commercial cultivars renders the industry at risk from environmental and other biological threats. Hence, there is a need to develop improved cultivars with tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Our prior research resulted in the establishment of a method for genetic transformation of pineapple. The genetically modified pineapple plants generated were characterized following acclimatization and during the subsequent 8 years under field conditions. The current work highlights the results obtained for histological characterization of roots and leaves of transgenic pineapple plants. The four treatments investigated were macropropagated control plants (untransformed), micropropagated control plants (untransformed), and micropropagated genetically transformed plants (clones 90 and 98). Twenty indicators were measured in plants: two of them did not show statistically significant differences among the four groups of plants (2/20 = 10.0%); six showed “Low” overall coefficients of variation (OCV) (6/20 = 30.0%); 12 showed “Medium” OCVs (12/20 = 60.0%); and only two indicators showed “High” OCVs (2/20 = 10.0%). Consideration of medium OCVs showed that the biomass of transgenic plants was slightly greater than those of the non-transgenic controls. Statistically significant differences between the lines were recorded except in the central cylinder diameter of roots and the D leaf adaxial cuticle thickness. “High” OCVs were observed for root exo- and endodermis thickness where transgenic clones showed statistically significantly higher values. In terms of the roots, five out of nine histological indicators showed “Medium” OCVs: cortex, rhyzodermis, and parenchyma thicknesses, pith diameter, and thickness of the transversal root ratio. Again, genetically transformed materials showed statistically significantly higher averages. Only three out of seven histological indicators showed “Medium” OCVs in the leaves: D leaf abaxial cuticle thickness, chlorophyll parenchyma thickness, and D leaf aquifer parenchyma thickness. As noted above, statistically significantly higher values were recorded in the transgenic pineapple plants. Since the differences observed did not ultimately affect fruit yield (as shown in our previous work), they do not appear to be consequences of genetic transformation that impact on reproductive yield.


Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. Plant transformation Field performance Side effects Anatomical characterization 



This research was supported by the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, the Plant Improvement Division of the ARC-Tropical and Subtropical Crops (South Africa), and the Bioplant Centre (University of Ciego de Ávila, Cuba). The authors are grateful to Mr. José Laguna for his skilled technical assistance.

Author contributions

LY, LP, DG, AVO, JRM, JM, DE, GG, EH, and JCL designed the research; LY, LP, DG, AVO, JRM, JM, and DE conducted the experiment; LY, DG, GG, EH, and JCL wrote the paper; and JCL had primary responsibility for the final content. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and animal rights

This research did not involve experiments with human or animal participants.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lourdes Yabor
    • 1
  • Lisbet Pérez
    • 1
  • Daviel Gómez
    • 1
  • Ariel Villalobos-Olivera
    • 1
  • José Ramón Mendoza
    • 1
  • Julia Martínez
    • 1
  • Doris Escalante
    • 1
  • Giovanni Garro
    • 2
  • Elliosha Hajari
    • 3
  • José Carlos Lorenzo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for Plant Breeding and Conservation of Genetic Resources, Bioplant CenterUniversity of Ciego de AvilaCiego de ÁvilaCuba
  2. 2.Biology SchoolTechnological Institute of Costa RicaCartagoCosta Rica
  3. 3.Plant ImprovementAgricultural Research Council-Tropical and Subtropical CropsNelspruitSouth Africa

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