Nicotiana alata Link and Otto (Jasmine tobacco) was transformed with an autoregulated senescence-inhibition gene construct PSAG12-IPT encoding isopentenyl transferase via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Transformation was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Transgenic plants exhibited up to 2- to 4-fold fewer senesced leaves, 29% longer in situ flower life, 26% more shoot dry weight, and a 32% to 50% reduction in flowers per branch. Additionally, transgenics were 28% shorter and had up to 174% more branches, indicative of cytokinin overproduction and a lack of tight autoregulation of PSAG12-IPT. Variation among independent transgenics suggests selection for enhanced PSAG12-IPT is feasible. Our observations of increased branching and in situ flower longevity, as well as reduced plant height and flowers per branch provide new information on PSAG12-IPT and its potential value for biological study and horticultural application.
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