Molecular Breeding

, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 463–470 | Cite as

Genetic engineering of parthenocarpic fruit development in tomato

  • Nadia Ficcadenti
  • Sara Sestili
  • Tiziana Pandolfini
  • Chiara Cirillo
  • Giuseppe Leonardo Rotino
  • Angelo Spena


Parthenocarpy was engineered in two genotypes of Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. by using the DefH9-iaaM chimeric gene. The parthenocarpic trait consists of fruit set and growth in the absence of fertilization. Seedless parthenocarpic fruits were obtained from emasculated flowers, and fruits with seeds from pollinated flowers. All parthenocarpic tomato plants analysed expressed the DefH9-iaaM gene during flower development. The fruit set percentage of emasculated transgenic flowers was similar to that of control plants. In 7 out of 8 independent transgenic plants, the fresh weight of fruits derived from pollinated or emasculated flowers did not significantly differ from that of fruits obtained by pollination of the control plants. The pH of the parthenocarpic fruit was generally unaffected and the soluble solid concentration was either unchanged or increased. Thus, the DefH9-iaaM gene is a genetic tool that might be used to improve tomato productivity.

fruit development Lycopersicon esculentum parthenocarpy plant genetic engineering 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadia Ficcadenti
    • 1
  • Sara Sestili
    • 1
  • Tiziana Pandolfini
    • 2
  • Chiara Cirillo
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Leonardo Rotino
    • 3
  • Angelo Spena
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Institute for Vegetable CropsMonsampolo del Tronto (AP)Italy
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  3. 3.Research Institute for Vegetable CropsMontanaso Lombardo (LO)Italy

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