, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 177-183

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Nicotiana attenuata, a model ecological expression system

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Research into the genetic basis of the ecological sophistication of plants is hampered by the availability of transformable systems with a wealth of well-described ecological interactions. We present an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for the model ecological expression system, Nicotiana attenuata, a native tobacco that occupies the post-fire niche in the Great Basin Desert of North America. We describe a transformation vector and a transformation procedure that differs from the standard cultivated tobacco transformation protocols in its use of selectable markers, explants, media and cultivation conditions. We illustrate its utility in the transformations with genes coding for key enzymes in the oxylipin cascade (lipoxygenase, allene oxide synthase, hydroperoxide lyase) in antisense orientations and present high-throughput screens useful for the detection of altered phenotypes for the oxylipin cascade (green leaf volatiles and jasmonic acid after wounding).

Received 14 March 2002; accepted 10 May 2002