, Volume 85, Issue 1-3, pp 381-393

Production and field performance of transgenic alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) expressing alpha-amylase and manganese-dependent lignin peroxidase

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Transgenic alfalfa plants expressinBacillus licheniformis alpha-amylase and mangaese-dependent lignin peroxidase (Mn-P) from Phanerochaete chrysosporium were produced using the Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation system. In each case, there was a range of expression of the introduced gene among independent transgenic plants. Plants producing alpha-amylase showed no alteration of phenotype. Production of Mn-P in alfalfa, howeven, in most cases adversely affected plant growth and development. Affected plants were stunted with yellowing foliage, but survived and produced seed. Results from field trials showed that Mn-P production in transgenic alfalfa reduced dry matter yield and plant height. The extent of these symptoms and yield reduction was, for the most part, related to the level of foreign protein production as estimated by Western analysis. Field data from transgenic plants expressing alpha-amylase showed that there was no effect of foreign protein production on plant performance. Expression of Mn-P was shown to segregate in sexual progeny derived from transgenic plants.