1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The goal of the project is to develop the molecular tools enabling the production of citrus plants that accumulate lycopene and/or anthocyanin nutrients within their fruit. Improved biotechnological tools facilitating the genetic engineering of citrus species will also be developed.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Novel transformation constructs designed to activate the metabolic pathway for lycopene production and/or anthocyanin production in citrus fruit will be built and introduced into citrus and tomato plants using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. These constructs will also carry recombinase attachment sites allowing the testing of novel transgene targeting and excision strategies within the plant genome. Also, citrus fruit-specific promoters that will facilitate the precise expression of transgenes conferring lycopene and anthocyanin production will be identified and characterized. This research is synergistic to previous grants obtained from the CRB.
The plasmids required for initial transformation of citrus using Agrobacterium are being constructed. Promoters that are expected to confer fruit-specific expression have been identified. A postdoctoral associate has been hired and will start in August, 2013. This research supports Objective 2 of the parent project: Identify and demonstrate the utility of crop-derived gene expression control elements that facilitate trait development in crop plants.