FLORICULTURE GERMPLASM ENHANCEMENT: USING GENETIC ENGINEERING TO IMPROVE POSTPRODUCTION QUALITY
Application Technology Research Unit
Project Number: 3607-21000-015-29
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 01, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2012
Ethylene gas and environmental stresses during shipping, in retail environments, and in the home and garden can accelerate leaf and flower senescence and reduce the quality and salability of ornamental plants. The objective of this cooperative research project is to create genetically engineered petunias with delayed senescence and stress tolerance and to evaluate production and post production characteristics of these plants. The Specifice objectives for the SCA include: 1) Evaluating the post-production quality in petunias genetically-engineered for delayed senescence and increased stress tolerance; 2) Identifying gene expression changes in transgenic plants with increased post-production quality; and 3) Evaluating production characteristics of genetically-engineered petunias.
RNAi and Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) technologies will be used to knock down the expression of endogenous senescence-related genes in transgenic petunias. Post-production characteristics of transgenic plants will be evaluated following ethylene exposure, high temperature and water stress. Production characteristics including disease tolerance will be evaluated in greenhouse studies. Large scale changes in gene expression in selected transgenic plants will be identified using petunia oligo-based DNA microarrays.