FOREIGN GENE EXPRESSION IN TRANSGENIC CRANBERRY PLANTS

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  • 1 Depts. of Horticulture and Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706
  • | 2 1Agracetus Corp., Middleton, WI 53562.

Genetically transformed Vaccinium macrocarpon `Stevens' and `Pilgrim' plants have been obtained using electric discharge particle acceleration. Three foreign genes, kan encoding a selectable marker, gus a reporter gene, and B.t.k. conferring lepidopteran resistance, were incorporated into the genome. Expression of kan was assayed by culturing shoots in vitro on media with several concentrations of kanamycin. Expression among transformed clones (transclones) varied from high resistance (normal growth at 300 mg/L kan) to no resistance. Histochemical analyses for gus expression revealed variability among transclones. Some transclones exhibited no gus expression, others had consistent area-specific expression while others displayed random expression. In preliminary feeding trials with blackheaded fireworm larvae, B.t.k. expression was found to be ineffective at controlling insect development. We have recovered plants transformed with a different promoter driving the B.t.k. gene in an effort to enhance expression.

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