Suppression of fructokinase encoded by LeFRK2 in tomato stem inhibits growth and causes wilting of young leaves

Plant J. 2003 Jun;34(6):837-46. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2003.01765.x.


Fructokinases catalyze the key step of fructose phosphorylation in plants. LeFRK2, the major fructokinase-encoding gene in tomato plants, is abundantly expressed in roots, stems, and fruits. To analyze the role of LeFRK2 in plant development, we analyzed transgenic tomato plants with sense and antisense expression of StFRK, the potato homolog of LeFRK2. Increased fructokinase activity had no effect. However, plants in which LeFRK2 was specifically suppressed, either via antisense suppression or via co-suppression, exhibited growth inhibition and wilting of young leaves at daytime. Grafting experiments indicated that a stem interstock of antisense plants was sufficient to inhibit growth and cause leaf wilting. Stem secondary xylem exhibited particular suppression of LeFRK2 and the area of active xylem, estimated by eosin uptake, was significantly smaller in antisense stem compared to that of wild-type plants. These results suggest that LeFRK2 might be required for proper development of xylem that affected growth and wilting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antisense Elements (Genetics)
  • Fructokinases / genetics*
  • Fructokinases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / enzymology*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / growth & development*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Stems / enzymology*
  • Plant Stems / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified


  • Antisense Elements (Genetics)
  • Fructokinases
  • fructokinase