Location: Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit
2012 Annual Report
Tissue samples were collected from all of these transgenic trees in summer of 2010 and 2011 for studies of RNA extraction. Leaf samples were collected from all 250 trees in the field trial and RNA was extracted, quantified, and analyzed for quality. cDNA was synthesized from 86 RNA samples. Three of these cDNA samples were then used for qPCR primer testing. PCR primers for five control genes for qPCR were designed based on published sequences. Only one primer set worked in qPCR, and gave two amplicons instead of the expected one. Additional primer design and qPCR optimization will be necessary.
Near the start of this project, we produced an RNAi construct directed against the AGAMOUS homolog in apple. The construct was sent to a cooperator, who produced transgenic Gala apples with it. The Cooperator has reported the recovery of a number of sterile transgenic flowering trees with multiple whorls of petals, as expected for AG inhibition. The Coopertor is now studying gene expression, morphology, and fertility for those lines. These results suggest that RNAi against AGAMOUS could be an effective means for producing sterile crabapples with showy flowers.
We collaborated with a scientist at Oregon State University on a problem analysis of approaches to reducing invasiveness using conventional biotech and transgenic methods. Our resulting manuscript was recently accepted for publication in the journal HortScience.