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Wendy Wagoner, J. Stamp, H. Matthews, J. Kellogg, and R. Bestwick

Ethylene is a known causal factor in the decay and senescence of fruits and vegetables. The aim of the present study was to incorporate a gene for control of ethylene biosynthesis in order to prevent or delay the senescence of the cauliflower curds. We first developed a reproducible transformation system using marker genes for beta glucuronidase (GUS) and antibiotic resistance. Brassica oleraceae L. var. botrytis was transformed by inoculating hypocotyl explants with the Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains C58 or EHA101 containing plasmids pAG5110, pAG5420, or pAG5520. The plasmid pAG5110 contains the genes for neomycin phosphotransferase II (NPTII) and GUS. The plasmids pAG5420 and pAG5520 contain a functional gene for S-adenosylmethionine hydrolase (SAMase) under an ethylene or wound inducible promoter, respectively. Hypocotyl explants were screened on regeneration medium with kanamycin for selection of transformants. Shoot regeneration occured within 4-6 weeks and morphologically normal plants developed within 3-4 months. The transgenic nature of the plants was confirmed by histochemical GUS assay, an ELISA based NPTII assay and Southern blot analysis. Transgenic plants outplanted in the greenhouse are being evaluated and selfed to study expression and inheritance pattern of the introduced trait.

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Wendy J. Wagoner, Jill A. Kellogg, Richard K. Bestwick, and James A Stamp

Broccoli and cauliflower are among the most regeneratively intractable genotypes found in the brassicaceae. To develop a method for transfer of the gene encoding S-adenosylmethionine hydrolase (SAMase) into inbred broccoli and cauliflower germplasm, we investigated the morphogenic competence and Agrobacterium susceptibility of a wide range of tissues of varied source. Appropriately controlled expression of the SAMase gene should, theoretically, reduce the plant's capacity for ethylene biosynthesis and extend the post harvest shelf life of the flower head.

Through examination of the in vitro response of a wide range of tissues we identified procedures which support caulogenesis from 100% of explants, each producing more than 30 shoots which readily convert to plantlets. Studies with several wild type and disarmed Agrobacterium strains, and utilization of the binary vector system and appropriate marker and reporter genes, led to the identification of methods for high frequency T-DNA transfer to explant tissues and the flow frequency of transgenic plants containing SAMase gene.

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Helena Mathews, C. Cohen, W. Wagoner, J. Kellogg, V. Dewey, and R. Bestwick

We have developed efficient plant rageneration and transformation systems for red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.). We have successfully introduced a gene for controlling biosynthesis of ethylene into raspberry for the first time. Leaf and petiole segments were co-cultivated with disarmed Agrobacterium strains EHA 101 or 105 containing plasmids pAG5420, pAG 1452 or pAG1552. The plasmids encoded gene sequences for S-adenosylmethionine hydrolase (SAM ase) driven by the fruit specific or wound and fruit specific tomato SE8 or E4 promoters. SAM ase catalyses the conversion of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to methylthioadenosine (MTA) and homoserine which can reenter the methionine recycling pathway. SAM is therefore not available for the synthesis of 1-am inocyclopropane carboxylic acid (ACC), the metabolic precursor for ethylene biosynthesis. Initial shoot regenerants were mostly chimeras containing transformed and non-transformed cells. Solid clones of pure transgenics were developed by repeated culture of leaf, petiole and nodal explants of primary regenerants on higher stringency selection medium. Transformants were screened on medium with kanamycin, geneticin or hygromycin depending on the selection marker gene NPTII or hpt. Genomic integration of transgenes were confirmed by Southern hybridization. Transgenic plants of cultivars Canby, Meeker and Chilliwack have been transplanted to the greenhouse for fruit set and further evaluation of transgenic traits.