Research, published in the online journal, BMC Biotechnology shows how researchers in Italy have used genetically modified eggplants made by the introduction of a gene that increases the level of the plant hormone indole acetic acid (IAA) to produce seedless fruits. Furthermore, these genetically modified eggplants are 30-35% more productive than conventional varieties in both greenhouse and field trials.
The public have a special liking for seedless fruits for two reasons, firstly seeds are often hard and unpalatable and secondly, since seed cavities are filled with fruit tissues instead of seeds, they get more fruit for their money. Consequently there is a great deal of interest in producing seedless fruit in agriculture.
Previous studies have shown that the application of IAA, to flower buds (the part of a plant from which fruits develop) can stimulate the development of fruit in the absence of fertilisation. This technique produces seedless fruit, but it is expensive because of the cost of the IAA and the labour required to treat the flower buds.
Gordon Fletcher | alphagalileo
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