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Transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants expressing a fragment of a fumarate hydratase (fumarase) gene in the antisense orientation and exhibiting considerable reductions in the mitochondrial activity of this enzyme show impaired photosynthesis. The rate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle was reduced in the transformants relative to the other major pathways of carbohydrate oxidation and the plants were characterized by a restricted rate of dark respiration. However, biochemical analyses revealed relatively little alteration in leaf metabolism as a consequence of reducing the fumarase activity. That said, in comparison to wild-type plants, CO(2) assimilation was reduced by up to 50% under atmospheric conditions and plants were characterized by a reduced biomass on a whole plant basis. Analysis of further photosynthetic parameters revealed that there was little difference in pigment content in the transformants but that the rate of transpiration and stomatal conductance was markedly reduced. Analysis of the response of the rate of photosynthesis to variation in the concentration of CO(2) confirmed that this restriction was due to a deficiency in stomatal function.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03115.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Plant J

Publication Date

06/2007

Volume

50

Pages

1093 - 1106

Keywords

Biomass, Carbon, Chloroplasts, Citric Acid Cycle, DNA, Complementary, Electron Transport, Fruit, Fumarate Hydratase, Lycopersicon esculentum, Malates, Mitochondria, Photosynthesis, Plant Leaves, Plant Roots, Plants, Genetically Modified