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Narumi Matsuda*, Kanji Isuzugawa, Mei Gao, Tadashi Takashina, and Koichi Nishimura

The transformation of pears such as `Conference', `Doyenne du Comice' and `Passe-Crassane' has been attributed to the high regeneration frequency from leaf discs (71% to 97%; Leblay et al. 1991). However, it has been difficult to transfer desirable genes into cultivars with low-regeneration frequency such as `Silver bell' (35.4%) and `La France' (10.7%), which are the two major pear cultivars in Japan. In this study, we developed an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for `Silver bell' and `La France'. For `Silver bell', leaf discs derived from in vitro shoots were used as explants. The antibiotics for selection of transformants and elimination of Agrobacteria were investigated. In the most optimum condition, which is 30 mg·L-1 Kanamycin and 500 mg·L-1 Sulbenicillin, a 3.2 % transformation efficiency was obtained. However, no success was recorded in an effort to transform `La France' using leaf disc explants because of very poor regeneration frequency. Therefore, axillary shoot meristems were used as explants for transformation of `La France'. The conditions for antibiotic selection and elimination of Agrobacteria were also investigated. In 5 mg·L-1 Kanamycin and 375 mg·L-1 Carbenicillin, transformed shoots were produced at 4.8% efficiency. No chimera was observed in the transgenic shoots during a 2-year subculture period. Since the inoculated explants developed into multiple shoots during selection, it was thought that the problem of chimera might have been overcome. Therefore, this transformation method using axillary shoot meristem may be applicable to pear cultivars recalcitrant to regeneration from leaf disc. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a transformation system in pear cultivars with low regeneration efficiency.

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Chifumi Nagai, Zhuping Mai, and Jerek Jong

Somatic embryogenesis of coffee has been studied for the purpose of obtaining target tissues for stable genetic transformation through use of a particle gun. Eight cultivars of C. arabica were selected for callus induction from leaves. Primary calli were induced within two weeks in over 98% of the leaf disks explanted on MS medium with 2,4-D and kinetin prior to treatment on a secondary culture medium. Somatic embryos were obtained from `Catuai' and `Blue Mountain' after six months from explanting. Somatic embryos were germinated in MS media and developed into plants. Somatic embryos and embryogenic calli are being used for gene transformation experiments with the helium-driven particle gun.

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Prem Anand Rajagopalan and Rafael Perl-Treves

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Cucumis sativus L. cotyledons was investigated, to identify important factors that affect transformation efficiency. The factors evaluated were initial explant preparation, including preculture, pricking of the explant, inoculation time and co-cultivation regime. We also modified the selection regime, compared to previously published protocols. Our results show that dissecting the proximal half of the cotyledon by a V-shaped cut resulted in a higher transformation rate, compared to two other methods of dissection, as indicated by transient β-glucuronidase gene expression. Selection on 100 mg·L-1 kanamycin resulted in the early development of nontransformed shoots, whereas a gradual increase of kanamycin concentration up to 200 mg·L-1 resulted in the subsequent formation of transgenic shoots on the same medium. The overall transformation frequency in these experiments, expressed as the number of rooted, confirmed transgenic plants per initial number of explants, was 1.7%. The stable integration of T-DNA was confirmed in the primary transformants and their progeny. Abbreviations: ABA = abscisic acid; AdS = adenine sulfate; AS = acetosyringone; BA = 6-benzylaminopurine; GA3 = gibberellic acid; IBA = indolebutyric acid.

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Zhanyuan Zhang, A. Mitra, and D.P. Coyne

Factors influencing Agrobacterium–mediated DNA transfer of P. vulgaris were examined using an intron-containing β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene as a reporter system. Tissue culture procedures used were based on direct shoot organogenesis. Two A. tumefaciens strains, A2760 and EHA105, were used with more emphasis on the former due to its overall higher transformation rate. Ten bean entries including breeding lines and cultivars from both Meso-American and Andean origins were compared for compatibility with the two bacterial strains under different pre- and coculture conditions. Pinto `Othello' was extensively used in testing different transformation conditions. Factors found to have significant effects on transformation rate included Agrobacterium-host interactions, explant maturity, preculture and cocultivation conditions, as well as selection schemes, based on transient expression. Some factors, such as the effect of explant maturity and dark preconditioning of explants on gene transfer, have not been reported before. The best transformation conditions included the use of susceptible genotypes and mature explants, preconditioning of explants in darkness, followed by a maximum cocultivation period in the presence of cytokinin, and the use of high selection pressure.

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John M. Sherman, James W. Moyer, and Margaret E. Daub

An efficient, high-frequency regeneration and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system was developed allowing the genetic engineering of three chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora Tzvelev) cultivars: the formerly recalcitrant and economically important cut-flower mum `Polaris' and two potted mums, `Hekla' and `Iridon'. The regeneration protocol used leaf explants on a sequence of media with four hormone regimes. Explants were first cultured on an embryogenesis-type medium containing a high concentration of 2,4-D, which promoted callus formation. Shoot primordia were induced by culture on medium lacking 2,4-D, followed by shoot elongation on a high-cytokinin plus gibberellic acid medium. Finally, elongated shoots were rooted on a low-auxin rooting medium. Transformed plants of the three cultivars were obtained following co-culture of leaf explants with A. tumefaciens strain EHA 105 harboring the plasmid pBI121 containing genes for neomycin phosphotransferase II (NPTII) and β-glucuronidase (GUS). Stable transformation of the three cultivars was verified via GUS assays and Southern analysis.

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Sue A. Hammar and Rebecca Grumet

We sought to develop efficient regeneratio nand transformation procedures for cucumber. Factors tested for regeneration included: hormone types and levels, genotype, explant source, and environmental conditions. Optimum regeneration was obtained using cotyledon pieces from 4 day old GY14A seedlings and culturing for 3 weeks under cool white lights (30-40 uE-2 s -1) on MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l 2,4-D, 0.5 mg/l BA, 0.3 mg/l ABA, 30 g/l sucrose, 1 g/l MES, and 3.07 g/l Scott gelrite. Shoots developed via somatic embryogenesis ca. 2 wk after explants were transferred to MS supplemented with 20 g/l sucrose, 1 g/l MES, and 4.37 g/l gelrite. Ca. 80% of the explants produce shoots, 1/3-1/2 of which produce rooted plantlets; total time from explant to rooted plantlet is ca. 8 wks. Transformation experiments utilized Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains LBA4404 bearing the CIBA-GEIGY pCIB10 vector with a selectable marker gene for kanamycin resistance. Optimal conditions include 45 mg/l kan, 10 min inoculation and 3 day co-cultivation. Preliminary evidence suggests that tobacco nurse cultures increase transformation efficiency. Transgenic plants were confirmed by Southern or dot blot analysis.

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Sue A. Hammar and Rebecca Grumet

We sought to develop efficient regeneratio nand transformation procedures for cucumber. Factors tested for regeneration included: hormone types and levels, genotype, explant source, and environmental conditions. Optimum regeneration was obtained using cotyledon pieces from 4 day old GY14A seedlings and culturing for 3 weeks under cool white lights (30-40 uE-2 s -1) on MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l 2,4-D, 0.5 mg/l BA, 0.3 mg/l ABA, 30 g/l sucrose, 1 g/l MES, and 3.07 g/l Scott gelrite. Shoots developed via somatic embryogenesis ca. 2 wk after explants were transferred to MS supplemented with 20 g/l sucrose, 1 g/l MES, and 4.37 g/l gelrite. Ca. 80% of the explants produce shoots, 1/3-1/2 of which produce rooted plantlets; total time from explant to rooted plantlet is ca. 8 wks. Transformation experiments utilized Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains LBA4404 bearing the CIBA-GEIGY pCIB10 vector with a selectable marker gene for kanamycin resistance. Optimal conditions include 45 mg/l kan, 10 min inoculation and 3 day co-cultivation. Preliminary evidence suggests that tobacco nurse cultures increase transformation efficiency. Transgenic plants were confirmed by Southern or dot blot analysis.

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Van Quy Le, Serge Overney, Binh Nguyen Quoc, and Serge Yelle

Tomato is one of the most important crop species where the introduction of foreign genes is expected to have a major impact on agriculture. Several transformation methods exist that rely on the cocultivation of various tissue or organ explants. However, tomato is still considered more difficult to transform than species such as Petunia hybrida and Nicotiana tabacum and can show widely varying success rates. Using cotyledonous explants, we propose a highly efficient procedure of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and regeneration of an agricultural cultivated tomato (L. esculentum cv. Summerset). Results showed that up to 90% of the cotyledons generated callus within 3 weeks (1 to 5 calli/cotyledon) and 50% of them regenerated shoots in another 3 weeks. Finally, it resulted in 50 to 100 independent transgenic plants per 100 inoculated explants within 10 weeks. These results are at least 40% more efficient than those of already published protocols. Moreover, up to 95% of the regenerated plants that form vigorous de novo roots under the antibiotic selection tested positive for the GUS assay. Screening by PCR for the presence of the T-DNA genes gave the predicted DNA fragment bands. This high efficiency procedure was mainly achieved by 1) an adequate optimization of the hormone composition and concentration of the successive culture media; 2) the fresh explant wounding before the Agrobacterium infection (important for optimal cell transformations); 3) the explant position, inside down for callus induction and coculture period, and upside down for the selection and organogenesis period (important for antibiotic selection).

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Salvador Guzmán-González, Pedro Valadez-Ramírez, Rosa-Edith Robles-Berber, Laura Silva-Rosales, and José-Luis Cabrera-Ponce

Biolistic genetic transformation of plants with viral genes is a method for controlling plant virus diseases; however, optimization of the particle bombardment parameters according to the transformation system is a key factor for an appropiate transgene expression and, therefore, a stronger resistance mechanism in transgenic plants. In order to optimize biolistic parameters, somatic papaya (Carica papaya L.) cv. Maradol embryo masses were bombarded with the CAMBIA 1301 plasmid construction that contains the coat protein gene (CP) of the papaya ringspot virus isolate of Colima, Mexico, driven by the double constitutively CaMV 35S promoter and flanked for the GUS and hygromycin (hpt) resistance genes. Particle bombardment protocol was carried out using the Helios™ Gene Gun device (BioRad) and the manufacturer's instruction manual. Helium pressure (50, 100, and 150 psi) and gold particle size (0.6, 1.0, and 1.6 μm) were evaluated. Five days after bombardment, somatic embryo clusters were used for GUS transient expression and, during 2 months, were selected into 50, 75, and 150 mg·L-1 hygromycin-containing media to its later CP-PCR detection. Results showed that 50 psi and 1.0 μm were the two optimal values for the assayed analyses. This is the first report of genetic transformation of papaya using the Helios™ Gene Gun device as a new tool compared to conventional PDS-1000/He.

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Hai-nan Liu, Jian-rong Feng, Xiao-fang Liu, Wen-hui Li, Wen-juan Lv, and Ming Luo

vectors of SFB . Fusion PCR was used to construct the ihpRNA. We wanted to influence SFB expression by genetic transformation, thereby creating a mutant SC apricot. The successful construction of sense, antisense, and RNAi expression vectors for SFB