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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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Cynthia Cohen, H. Mathews, V. Dewey, and R. Bestwick

Raspberry has very cultivar specific requirements for proliferation. Plant regeneration rates from isolated explants are inconsistent and vary widely among cultivars. As a step towards developing a viable transgenic system in red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) we first developed an efficient and consistent protocol for plant regeneration from isolated explants. A modified MS medium with cytokinin BA gave vigorous shoots with an average proliferation rate of 3-5 depending on the cultivar. These vigorous shoot proliferants served as an ideal explant source for plant regeneration experiments. The average rate of shoot regeneration from leaf explants was 72, 32, 68. and 72% for cvs. Canby, Chilliwack, Meeker and Heritage respectively. In addition to leaf, petiole explants were equally good sources for inducing shoot organogenesis. In all the above-mentioned cultivars, 44-57% of the petiole explants gave rise lo healthy and vigorous shoot regenerants in culture. The regenerated shoots were induced lo root on a rooting medium and were successfully transplanted to the greenhouse. This regeneration system was successfully applied in our laboratory for developing gene transfer system in red raspberry (see abstract by Mathews, et al).

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Don Waneck, H. Mathews, J. Stamp, and R. Bestwick

Zygotic embryo explants of grape cultivar AXR#1 were isolated from maw-e seeds and cultured on medium supplemented with naphthoxy acetic acid beta-(NOA) and benzylaminopurine (BA). Embryo explants dedifferentiated to form embryogenic callus. Globular stage embryos were visible in 9-10 months. On transfer 10 a growth regulator free medium supplemented with charcoal these globular embryos underwent further stages of embryo development. In a period of 30-40 days embryogenic tissues turned into clumps of somatic embryos displaying different stages of development Cotyledonary stage embryos were separated and transferred to basal medium. These embryos developed into complete plants. Cold and desiccation treatment of somatic embryos significantly enhanced the rate of plant conversion. Hypocotyl segments of elongated somatic embryos were good source explant for induction of shoot organogenesis. The hypocotyl-length and the proximity to-shoot-apex were found to influence the rate of shoot induction from hypotyl segments. Multiple shoot complexes which formed on hypocotyl segments were separated and individual shoots were grown on a root induction medium resulting in complete plant development. The possibility of both embryogenic and organogenic modes of plant regeneration make somatic embryos a highly versatile explant source for experiments on genetic manipulation.

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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.