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To prevent leaf senescence of young transplants or excised shoots during storage under dark and cold conditions, the cytokinin biosynthetic gene isopentenyl transferase (ipt) was placed under the control of a cold-inducible promoter cor15a from Arabidopsis thaliana and introduced into Petunia x hybrida 'Marco Polo Odyssey' and Dendranthema x grandiflorum (chrysanthemum) 'Iridon'. Transgenic cor15a-ipt petunia and chrysanthemum plants and excised leaves remained green and healthy during prolonged dark storage (4 weeks at 25 degrees C) after an initial exposure to a brief cold-induction period (4 degrees C for 72 h). However, cor15a-ipt chrysanthemum plants and excised leaves that were not exposed to a cold-induction period, senesced under the same dark storage conditions. Regardless of cold-induction treatment, leaves and plants of non-transformed plants senesced under prolonged dark storage. Analysis of ipt expression indicated a marked increase in gene expression in intact transgenic plants as well as in isolated transgenic leaves exposed to a short cold-induction treatment prior to dark storage. These changes correlated with elevated concentrations of cytokinins in transgenic leaves after cold treatment. Cor15a-ipt transgenic plants showed a normal phenotype when grown at 25 degrees C.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Botany following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Vol.56, No. 414, pp.1165-1175 (February 2005) is available online at:

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