, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 1108-1120

Long-term stability of transgene expression driven by barley endosperm-specific hordein promoters in transgenic barley

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Abstract

In order to evaluate the long-term stability of transgene expression driven by the B1- and D-hordein promoters in transgenic barley (Hordeum vulgare L., 2n=2x=14), we analyzed plants from 15 independent transgenic barley lines [6 for uidA and 9 for sgfp(S65T)] produced via microprojectile bombardment of immature embryos; 4 were diploid and 11 were tetraploid. The expression and inheritance of transgenes were determined by analysis of functional transgene expression, polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Ability to express transgenes driven by either B1- or D-hordein promoter was inherited in T4 and later generations: T4 (2 lines), T5 (8 lines), T6 (3 lines), T8 (1 line) and T9 (1 line). Homozygous transgenic plants were obtained from 12 lines [5 for uidA and 7 for sgfp(S65T)]; the remaining lines are currently being analyzed. The application of the FISH technique for physical mapping of chromosomes was useful for early screening of homozygous plants by examining for presence of the transgene. For example, one line expressing uidA, and shown to have doublet fluorescence signals on a pair of homologous chromosomes was confirmed as a homozygous line by its segregation ratio; additionally this line showed stable inheritance of the transgene to T9 progeny. The expression of transgenes in most lines (14 out of 15 lines) driven by hordein promoters was stably transmitted to T4 or later generations, although there was a skewed segregation pattern (1:1) from the T1 generation onward in the remaining line. In contrast, transgene silencing or transgene loss under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter was observed in progeny of only 6 out of 15 lines.

Communicated by I.S. Chung