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Conference paper, 2007

Improvement of rooting and reduction in plant height in apple and pear through gene transfer

Zhu, Li-Hua; Li, Xue-Yuan; Nyqvist, M.; Welander, Margareta


Genetic transformation provides an efficient way for improving plant properties. Aiming at improving the rooting ability and reducing the plant height, we have transformed the vigorous apple cultivars 'Gravenstein' and 'McIntosh', and vigorous apple rootstock 'A2' and semi-dwarfing apple rootstock 'M.26' with the rolA or gai gene and the dwarf apple rootstock 'M.9/29' and dwarf pear rootstock 'BP10030' with the rolB gene. Transgenic clones have been evaluated in vitro and under greenhouse conditions. All rolB transgenic clones showed greatly improved rooting ability. Most of the rolA or gai transgenic clones showed a reduced plant height. The rolB transformed clones of 'M.9/29' and 'M.26' together with the untransformed controls have been used as rootstocks in a field trial. Five untransformed apple cultivars have been budded onto these rootstocks. The purposes of the field trial are to evaluate the effects of transgenic rootstocks on growth and development of the untransformed cultivars, to analyse the stability of transgene expression under field conditions and to evaluate the possible transport of transgene products, RNA and proteins, from rootstock to scion. The results showed that the survival of budding was not affected by the rolB gene. Preliminary results also showed that the rolB gene did not influence flowering of untransformed scion cultivars. The evaluation of the field trial is still going on.


Agrobacterium transformation; rooting; plant size; rolA; rolB; gai

Published in

Acta Horticulturae
2007, number: 738, pages: 353-359
ISBN: 978-90-6605-219-2
Publisher: International Society Horticultural Science


International Symposium on Biotechnology of Temperate Fruit Crops and Tropical Species

    SLU Authors

    • Zhu, Li-Hua

      • Department of Crop Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Li, Xue-Yuan

        • Department of Crop Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
        • Welander, Margareta

          • Department of Crop Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        Associated SLU-program

        Agricultural landscape

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Plant Biotechnology

        Publication Identifiers


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