Pineapple plants with transgenes for fungus and herbicide resistance
had altered biochemical make-up.
Pineapple (Ananas comosus).
chitinase gene (from the bean, Phaseolus vulgaris) and
ap24 gene (from tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum), both of which
have been described as antifungal genes; the bar gene from a
bacterium (Streptomyces hygroscopicus) was used as a selectable
marker, since it conveys resistance to the herbicide FINALE®. The genes
were fused to the maize Ubi-1 promoter so that they would be expressed in
all parts of the plant.
Produce genetically modified pineapple plants that are resistant to
fungus, specifically to the species Phytophthora nicotianae
var. parasitica. In this study the researchers investigated
whether the genetically transformed pineapple plants showed any
biochemical side effects.
Transgenic pineapple plantlets were identified through their ability
to grow in a medium with the herbicide FINALE®. The most resistant
transgenic line was compared with unmanipulated controls grown under
identical conditions for 30 days. Whether the transgenic plants are
fungus resistant is still under investigation by this group and was not
reported in this study.
Statistically significant changes were found in the amounts of aldehydes,
chlorophyll pigments (a, b), phenolics, and protein. In all
cases the transgenic plants showed decrease in the levels of these
substances. The decreases were most marked in the amounts of aldehydes
(for example, 42% less malondialdehyde) and in chlorophyll b (75% less).
The authors note that such side effects may affect (1) plant stress
tolerance, since aldehyde levels have been correlated with stress
tolerance, and (2) the ability to perform photosynthesis due to lower
levels of chlorophyll.
Yabor, L., M. Arzola, C. Aragón, M. Hernández et al. (2006). "Biochemical
Side Effects of Genetic Transformation of Pineapple," Plant Cell Tiss
Organ Cult vol. 86, pp. 63-7.
Laboratory for Plant Breeding, University of Ciego de Avila, Cuba.
International Foundation for Science, Stockholm, Sweden; Cuban Ministry
Not on the market as of 2008.
Copyright 2008 The Nature