Since the first transgenic pear (Pyrus L.) plant was obtained in 1996 (Mourgues et al. 1996), a significant progress in pear resistance breeding via genetic transformation was achieved. There were several reports on successful transformation with different desirable genes such as an iron chelator protein encoded by the bovine lactoferrin gene, attacin E (anti-bacterial genes SB-37), Shiva-1 and lysozyme isolated from the T4 bacteriophage. All cases were performed by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation with leaf or excised cotyledons as the explants. To get high efficiency transformation of pear, several efficient and repeatable methods have been established; new method was established for the transformation of two recalcitrant cultivars 'La France' and 'Silver' by using axillary shoot meristems as explants. To improve rooting ability, the rol B gene was introduced into pear rootstock BP10030 (Pyrus communis). By introducing pear (cv. 'La France') antisense cDNAs encoding ACC synthase (LF-ACS) and ACC oxidase (LF-ACO) into pear, ethylene synthesis was reduced, thus better firmness in pear fruit and elongation in shelf life were realized.
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