The Agrobacterium rhizogenes T-DNA oncogene rolD under the control of its own 5' regulatory region was transferred to day-neutral tobacco plants. The main trait induced by rolD in transgenic plants is a striking precocity in flower setting and a strong enhancement of the flowering potential. In rolD plants, early flowering is followed by the very rapid growth of numerous lateral inflorescences. The analysis of several morphological and histological parameters suggests that some characteristic morphological abnormalities observed in rolD plants can be accounted for by their early reproductive phase transition and points to the involvement in the transition of a greater portion of the plant body than is the case for untransformed tobacco. The in vitro morphogenic potential of tissues from rolD plants was also tested. Superficial thin cell layer explants from rolD plants show an earlier and much enhanced flower organogenesis, compared to controls, both on flowering and on hormone-free medium.
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