Partial Sense Gene

Ross Whetten rosswhet at
Tue Aug 23 08:49:38 EST 1994

In article <1994Aug21.180212.17672 at>, brianf at (Brian Foley) writes:
|>Subject: Re: Partial Sense Gene
|>botanica at wrote:
|>: Hi Netters,
|>: does anybody know anything about "Partial Sense Gene"?
|>: We read it in an article about "Polygalacturonase in tomato ripening",
|>: but we don't know what it is. We have never heard about it before.
|>: Any answer will be appreciated.
|>: Thanks in advance
|>: Clotilde Lusardi & Paolo Cervini
|>: UCSC-Piacenza-Italy
|>: Please reply at:   Botanica at
|>	Sounds like a case of poor English to Italian translation.
|>Or perhaps a case of poor Scientific to Layman's Terms translation.
|>	The Flav'r Sav'r tomato has an anti-sense gene inserted in it.
|>It has a promoter, and produces an RNA which is complementary to the
|>mRNA for the gene which causes tomatoes to get soft as they ripen.
|>The anti-sense RNA then hybridizes to the mRNA and prevents translation.
|>*  Brian Foley               *     If we knew what we were doing   *
|>*  Molecular Genetics Dept.  *     it wouldn't be called research  *
|>*  University of Vermont     *                                     *

The term `partial sense gene' is probably correctly translated. It 
turns out that the inhibitory effect observed in plants transformed
with an antisense gene, as described by Brian Foley, is frequently
also observed in plants transformed with a `sense' gene, ie the gene
in its normal orientation. This effect is not due only to over-expression
of a protein product, because a truncated version of the coding region
driven by a strong promoter can sometimes cause the same effect in the
absence of any protein product. A `partial sense gene' is a promoter
driving the expression of part of the protein coding region of a gene,
in the orientation in which the gene is normally expressed. The mechanism
by which this causes inhibition of expression of the endogenous gene(s)
is not at all clear. Richard Jorgensen has written several papers and
reviews recently on this phenomenon; Joseph Mols and Donald Grierson are
other major contributors to the literature in this area.

Ross Whetten 
Research Assistant Professor 
Forest Biotechnology Group
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8008  USA
telephone or fax (919)515-7801
e-mail rosswhet at

Ross Whetten 
Research Assistant Professor 

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