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PloS one

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tomato with rolB gene results in enhancement of fruit quality and foliar resistance against fungal pathogens.


PMID 24817272

Abstract

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is the second most important cultivated crop next to potato, worldwide. Tomato serves as an important source of antioxidants in human diet. Alternaria solani and Fusarium oxysporum cause early blight and vascular wilt of tomato, respectively, resulting in severe crop losses. The foremost objective of the present study was to generate transgenic tomato plants with rolB gene and evaluate its effect on plant morphology, nutritional contents, yield and resistance against fungal infection. Tomato cv. Rio Grande was transformed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens harbouring rolB gene of Agrobacterium rhizogenes. rolB. Biochemical analyses showed considerable improvement in nutritional quality of transgenic tomato fruits as indicated by 62% increase in lycopene content, 225% in ascorbic acid content, 58% in total phenolics and 26% in free radical scavenging activity. Furthermore, rolB gene significantly improved the defence response of leaves of transgenic plants against two pathogenic fungal strains A. solani and F. oxysporum. Contrarily, transformed plants exhibited altered morphology and reduced fruit yield. In conclusion, rolB gene from A. rhizogenes can be used to generate transgenic tomato with increased nutritional contents of fruits as well as improved foliar tolerance against fungal pathogens.