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PpCAD2 was originally isolated from the ‘Wangkumbae’ pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai), and it encodes for cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD), which is a key enzyme in the lignin biosynthesis pathway. In order to verify the function of PpCAD2, transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) ‘Micro-Tom’ plants were generated using over-expression constructs via the agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. The results showed that the PpCAD2 over-expression transgenic tomato plant had a strong growth vigor. Furthermore, these PpCAD2 over-expression transgenic tomato plants contained a higher lignin content and CAD enzymatic activity in the stem, leaf and fruit pericarp tissues, and formed a greater number of vessel elements in the stem and leaf vein, compared to wild type tomato plants. This study clearly indicated that overexpressing PpCAD2 increased the lignin deposition of transgenic tomato plants, and thus validated the function of PpCAD2 in lignin biosynthesis.

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