Ethylene is considered to be the fruit ripening hormone. Because of its effect on plant senescence, large amounts of fruit and vegetables are lost annually in the United States and in third world countries. As a first step towards inhibiting fruit senescence, we have expressed antisense RNA to ACC synthase in tomato fruits using the 35S CaMV promoter (1–6). The results indicate that the antisense RNA inhibits ethylene production, and more importantly, ripening and softening of the fruits. The inhibition can be reversed by treatment with exogenous ethylene. These results also indicate that ethylene is the trigger and not the by-product of the ripening process. Furthermore, the prospect arises that inhibition of ethylene production by antisense ACC synthase RNA can be a general method for preventing senescence in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
KeywordsSalicylic Acid Shoot Apical Meristem Homeobox Gene Floral Meristem Root Apical Meristem
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