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Guo-qing Song, Hideo Honda and Ken-ichi Yamaguchi

Leaves are usually the target tissue for expressing transgenes conferring resistances to herbicides, pests, and diseases. To achieve leaf-specific expression, a light-harvest chlorophyll a/b binding protein (CAB) of photosystem-II (CAB2) promoter (CAB2-p) from rice (Oryza sativa L.) and the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter were fused to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter and subsequently evaluated in transgenic sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam.)]. The 35S promoter-directed GUS activities varied from 46.0 to 61.2 nmol 4-methyl-umbelliferyl-β-D-glucuronide (4-MU) per minute per milligram of protein in leaf, stem, primary, and storage roots. In contrast, the CAB2-p directed an uneven distribution of GUS activities (4-MU at 1.1 to 12.6 nmol·min−1·mg−1 protein); GUS activity in mature leaves was ≈12-fold as high as that in storage roots. In addition, GUS assay in leaf tissues revealed that CAB2-p enabled a developmentally controlled and light-regulated GUS expression. These results indicate that the rice CAB2-p could be used to drive leaf-specific expression of linked genes in sweetpotato.

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Chikako Honda, Hideo Bessho, Mari Murai, Hiroshi Iwanami, Shigeki Moriya, Kazuyuki Abe, Masato Wada, Yuki Moriya-Tanaka, Hiroko Hayama and Miho Tatsuki

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of temperature treatments on anthocyanin accumulation and ethylene production in the fruit of early- and medium-maturing cultivars that were harvested early during fruit ripening. We first investigated the effects of various temperature treatments on anthocyanin accumulation in detached apples of ‘Tsugaru’, ‘Tsugaru Hime’, ‘Akane’ and ‘Akibae’ using an incubator. Three years of experiments demonstrated that at harvest, the lower-temperature treatments induced anthocyanin accumulation in ‘Tsugaru’, ‘Tsugaru Hime’, and ‘Akibae’ fruits, whereas the increases in anthocyanin accumulation under the 25 °C treatment were similar to those under the 15 and 20 °C treatments in ‘Akane’ fruit. The rate of ethylene production did not increase substantially during the temperature treatments in any of the four cultivars, except after the treatments of ‘Tsugaru’ fruit at harvest. The inhibition of ethylene action by the application of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) to detached fruits at harvest suppressed anthocyanin development under 15 and 20 °C temperature treatments in ‘Tsugaru’, ‘Tsugaru Hime’, and ‘Akibae’, but not in ‘Akane’. In the second experiment, we investigated changes in the anthocyanin concentration in attached fruit of ‘Misuzu Tsugaru’ under different temperature conditions in a greenhouse. At harvest, the anthocyanin concentration in fruit under the hotter climatic condition (29 °C 12 hours/19 °C 12 hours) was lower than that under the control condition (25 °C 12 hours/15 °C 12 hours). During the last week before harvest, anthocyanin development proceeded rapidly in fruit skin not only under the control condition, but also under the hotter climatic condition. The rapid accumulation of anthocyanin in the fruit skin of ‘Misuzu Tsugaru’ at harvest under a relatively high temperature (25 °C) condition was confirmed by the experiment using an incubator. At harvest, the maximum level of ethylene production in fruits sampled from trees grown under the hotter climatic condition was 9-fold higher than that in fruits from trees grown under the control condition. These results indicate that the comparison of pigmentation potential after the 15 or 25 °C treatments using detached fruit was effective for estimating anthocyanin accumulation in fruit skins under hotter climatic conditions in early- and medium-maturing cultivars that were harvested early and that a hotter climatic condition during ripening increased ethylene production in apple fruit after harvest.