Gerbera is a highly heterozygous and out-crossing species which in practice excludes forward genetic approaches for gene discovery. However, production of transgenic plants allows us to use reverse genetics to study functions for isolated genes. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation as well as particle bombardment methods have been adopted for gerbera cultivar Terra Regina. These methods have been used for both ectopic gene expression and downregulation via antisense or RNAi approaches to produce modified phenotypes. We have recently also developed virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) methods for gerbera.
Elomaa P, Honkanen J, Puska R, Seppänen P, Helariutta Y, Mehto M, Kotilainen M,Nevalainen L, Teeri TH: Agrobacterium-mediated transfer of antisense chalcone synthase cDNA to Gerbera hybrida inhibits flower pigmentation. Bio/Technology 11:508-511 (1993).
Elomaa P, Teeri TH: Transgenic Gerbera. In: Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry, Vol. 48, Transgenic Crops III (ed. by YPS Bajaj). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 139-154 (2001).
Deng X, Elomaa P, Nguyen C, Hytönen T, Valkonen JPT, Teeri TH: Virus-induced gene silencing for Asteraceae – a reverse genetics approach for functional genomics in Gerbera hybrida. Plant Biotechnology Journal 10:970-978 (2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2012.00726.x