Transformation of Solanum lycopersicum (tomatoes) with a growth regulating protein apyrase
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In previous studies the role of apyrase in plant growth and development has been investigated in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Results obtained in Arabidopsis have suggested that ectoapyrases regulate plant growth and participate in wound responses. To apply these findings to an agriculturally relevant plant we transformed apyrase into tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum, MicroTom). Our goal is to overexpress and knockdown this gene in transgenic tomato plants to determine if their function in tomatoes is similar to those found in Arabidopsis. We first began by constructing vectors for apyrase to either overexpress the gene through a 35-S promoter in a pCambia 2300 plasmid or knockdown the gene by RNAi. These constructs were used for Agrobacterium mediated transformation of tomato plants, where kanamycin was used for plant selection. Thus far we have successfully produced transgenic tomato lines with Solanum apyrase overexpressed as judged by RT-PCR analysis. These transgenic tomato lines will be tested for growth phenotypes including increased fruit size.