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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334078

Title: Multilocation comparison of fruit composition for 'HoneySweet', an RNAi based plum pox virus resistant plum

item Callahan, Ann
item Dardick, Christopher - Chris
item Scorza, Ralph

Submitted to: PLOS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/2019
Publication Date: 3/22/2019
Citation: Callahan, A.M., Dardick, C.D., Scorza, R. 2019. Multilocation comparison of fruit composition for 'HoneySweet', an RNAi based plum pox virus resistant plum. PLoS One. 14(3):e0213993.

Interpretive Summary: 'HoneySweet' is a genetically modified organism (GMO) plum that is resistant to the plum pox virus (PPV), a devastating virus for all stone fruit. This plum contains a small piece of PPV that can stimulate the natural antiviral system of the tree to destroy all PPV. 'HoneySweet' has successfully been through the regulatory process in the U.S., including the analysis of various components of the fruit to assure that nothing abnormal has happened due to the insertion of the new genes. This project has expanded that analysis to look at the effects of different environments on those components in commercial plums as well as 'HoneySweet'. This includes the effects of different locations, different years, and the influence of the presence or infection by PPV. The results show that the environment can have a large effect on various components such as sugar and antioxidants of all the plums. Based on these comparisons, it was confirmed that 'HoneySweet' fruit composition is within the norms of commercial plums grown under many different environments.

Technical Abstract: 'HoneySweet', a plum tree, Prunus domestica, resistant to plum pox virus (PPV) through the introduction of the coat protein gene from PPV was deregulated in the U.S. in 2011 and a release notice published in 2016. The compositional study of the fruit was expanded to include locations outside of the U.S., as well as utilizing a wide variety of comparators and different collection years in order to see the variability possible in 'HoneySweet' plum. The results revealed that plums have a wide variation in composition and that within the three cultivars including 'HoneySweet' that were sampled in multiple locations, the variation among locations had a greater effect than the variations within cultivars. This was also the case in the sampling in different years at one location. The results supported the supposition that the transgene and insertion event had no significant effect on the composition of 'HoneySweet' fruit and that it fell in the normal range of composition of commercially grown plums. It also suggested that the effect of the environment is just as great as that of genetics on the fruit composition of plums.