Reduction of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid (ACC) in Pollen by Expression of ACC Deaminase in Transgenic Petunias

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN 47907-1165

Petunia hybrida pollen accumulates significant levels of the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) late in development. This pollen ACC is thought to play a role in the rapid burst of ethylene produced by pollinated pistils. To investigate this further, we have expressed the ACC deaminase gene product from Pseudomonas in transgenic petunias under the control of three different promoters including CaMV-35S, LAT52, and TA29 directing construction expression, pollen-specific expression and tapetum-specific expression, respectively. Several transgenic plants expressing the LAT52-ACC deaminase gene exhibited significant reduction of ACC in pollen. Two independent transformants contained only trace amounts of ACC in pollen. In contrast, the other promoters did not lead to reduced ACC in pollen. Pollination of wild-type pistils with pollen from LAT52-ACC deaminase plants elicited increased ethylene similar to wild-type pollen. Fecundity was unaffected by the reduction in pollen ACC content. Taken together, we conclude pollen-borne ACC is not the elicitor of pollination-induced ethylene production by pistils.

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