Genetic transformation of cut roses may greatly facilitate cultivar improvement programs by shortening the time required to introduce new genes into elite germplasm. The biolistic process offers a very promising method for the genetic transformation of roses.
The biolistic process uses high velocity mircoprojectiles (gold or tungsten) to carry foreign DNA into cells. This process has been shown to be useful for genetic transformation of many organisms. The first step in taking advantage of this process is to optimize the factors which affect transformation efficiency.
Several factors that have a significant affect on transformation efficiency were examined in an effort to optimize the biolistic process for gene transfer in roses. The factors examined were type of tissue (leaf segments, petioles, callus, etc), bombardment distance, the number of bombardments, DNA construct and microcarrier velocity.
The reporter gene, GUS, was used for determining transformation efficiency in this study. GUS was carried on several plasmid constructs which also contained antibiotic resistance (kanamycin or streptomycin. Efficiency of gene transfer was determined by calculating the number of transiently expressing GUS cells for each combination of factors.
Results of this study will be discussed and summarized.