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The DefH9-iaaM-containing construct efficiently induces parthenocarpy in cucumber

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Abstract

Parthenocarpy (seedless fruits) is a desirable trait that has been achieved in many plant cultivars. We generated parthenocarpic cucumber fruits by introducing the chimeric DefH9-iaaM construct into the cucumber genome using an Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated protocol. The construct consists of the DefH9 promoter from Antirrhinum majus and the iaaM coding sequence from Pseudomonas syringae. Transgenic plants were obtained from nine independent transformation events: half of these were tetraploid and did not produce seeds following self-pollination, while the remaining half were capable of displaying parthenocarpy in the subsequent reproductive generation. Of the fruits produced by the transgenic lines, 70–90% were parthenocarpic. The segregation of the marker gene in the transgenic T1 progeny indicated single gene inheritance. The seed set in the transgenic lines and their F1 hybrids was lower than in the non-transgenic control plants. Some of the methodological details and the practical significance of the results are discussed.

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Author information

Correspondence to Stefan Malepszy.

Additional information

This paper is dedicated to Prof. Juergen Grunewaldt from Hannover on the occasion of his retirement.

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Key words

  • Fruit set
  • Cucumber
  • Ovary-specific promoter
  • Transgenic parthenocarpy