Production components in transformed and untransformed ‘Micro-Tom’ tomato plants

<div><p>ABSTRACT Changes to the amounts of certain proteins have resulted in several studies, among them the so-called heat shock proteins (HSP), which take many forms, most of them constitutive. However, other forms may be inducible by a particular stress factor. The ‘Micro-Tom’ tomato is considered a model for experimental studies due to having suitable characteristics, such as reduced size, short generation time, and ease of transformation. Growth and production components were therefore evaluated in ‘Micro-Tom’ tomato plants transformed for different levels of mitochondrial HSP (MT-sHSP23.6). Plants from genotypes of the ‘Micro-Tom’ tomato (untransformed, and transformed with overexpression and with expression silencing) were grown under controlled conditions of temperature, photoperiod and photon flux density. To obtain the data, successive collections were carried out at regular intervals (21 days) throughout the development cycle of the plants, starting from the 21st day after transplanting (DAT). Total dry matter, leaf area, dry-weight partitioning between the plant organs, and production components were determined in the three genotypes. From interpretation of the results, it was found that plants transformed with overexpression of MT-sHSP23.6 displayed greater production capacity, considering the fresh weight of the fruit; but in general, the data showed that genetic transformation did not bring about major changes in growth, since the three genotypes displayed similar behaviour.</p></div>