, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 903-913,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Mar 2009

Evidence for stable transformation of wheat by floral dip in Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Abstract

Hexaploid wheat, one of the world’s most important staple crops, remains a challenge for genetic transformation. We are developing a floral transformation protocol for wheat that does not require tissue culture. This paper presents three transformants in the hard red germplasm line Crocus that have been characterized thoroughly at the molecular level over three to six generations. Wheat spikes at the early boot stage, i.e. the early, mid or late uninucleate microspore stages, were immersed in an infiltration medium of strain C58C1 harboring pDs(Hyg)35S, or strain AGL1 harboring pBECKSred. pDs(Hyg)35S contains the NPTII and hph selectable markers, and transformants were detected using paromomycin spray at the whole plant level, NPTII ELISAs, or selection on medium with hygromycin. Strain AGL1, harboring pBECKSred, which contains the maize anthocyanin regulators, Lc and C1, and the NPTII gene, was also used to produce a Crocus transformant. T1 and T2 seeds with red embryos were selected; T1 and T2 plants were screened by sequential tests for paromomycin resistance and NPTII ELISAs. The transformants were low copy number and showed Mendelian segregation in the T2. Stable transmission of the transgenes over several generations has been demonstrated using Southern analysis. Gene expression in advanced progeny was shown using Reverse Transcriptase-PCR and ELISA assays for NPTII protein expression. This protocol has the potential to reduce the time and expense required for wheat transformation.

Communicated by H. Jones.