Start Date: Jul 08, 2004
End Date: Jul 07, 2009
Cell wall carbohydrate and membrane phospholipid metabolic enzymes will be suppressed or over-expressed in tomato plants, or specifically in tomato fruit, by transformation of plants with antisense, sense, RNAi, or 3'-UTR random-repeat constructs, enabling assessment of their importance in fruit ripening, softening, and senescence. Constructs including nonspecific constitutively expressed and fruit-specific promoters will be tested. Immunoblots and enzyme assays will be conducted to correlate gene transcript (mRNA) levels with levels of protein expression and enzymatic activity. Transgenic tomato fruit, both whole and sliced, will be evaluated for quality parameters including texture, color (lycopene content), flavor and aroma compounds, and rates of ripening and senescence. BSL-1/BSL1-P re-certified 7/14/08.