HORTICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TRANSGENIC TOBACCO EXPRESSING THE ROL C GENE FROM AGROBACTERIUM RHIZOGENES

in HortScience

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv Wisconsin 38) leaf discs were transformed with the disarmed Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA101 carrying the Rol C gene from A. rhizogenes (Oono et al., Jpn. J. Genet. 62:501-505, 1987), NPT II and GUS. Shoots that regenerated on kanamycin-containing medium were confirmed transgenic through GUS assays, Southern analyses and transmission of foreign genes through the sexual cycle. Transgenic plants were as short as half the height of control plants, earlier flowering by up to 35 days, had smaller leaves, smaller seed capsules, fewer seeds, smaller flowers and reduced pollen viability. The number of seed capsules, leaf number and root density were similar between transgenic and control plants. Transgenic clones varied in the expression of the Rol C gene and transgenic plants similar or only slightly different from controls were identified. Transformation with the Rol C gene presents a potentially useful method of genetically modifying horticultural crops, particularly for flowering date, height, and leaf and flower size.

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