Transgenic Research

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 523-530

First online:

Stable transformation of petunia plastids

  • Mikhajlo K. ZubkoAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester
  • , Elena I. ZubkoAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester
  • , Karen van ZuilenAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester
  • , Peter MeyerAffiliated withLeeds Institute for Plant Biotechnology and Agriculture (LIBA), Centre for Plant Sciences, The University of Leeds
  • , Anil DayAffiliated withSchool of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester Email author 

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Plastid transformation results in stably expressed foreign genes, which for most Angiosperms are largely excluded from sperm cells, thereby greatly reducing the risk of foreign gene spread through pollen. Prior to this work, fertile plastid transformants were restricted to tobacco, tomato and Lesquerella . Application of plastid engineering in the important floriculture industry requires the development of stable plastid transformation in a major ornamental plant species such as Petunia hybrida. Here we describe the successful isolation of fertile and stable plastid transformants in a commercial cultivar of P. hybrida (var. Pink Wave). Plastid targeting regions from tobacco were used to integrate aad A and gusA between the acc D and rbc L genes of P. hybrida plastid DNA following particle bombardment of leaves. For three spectinomycin and streptomycin resistant lines, DNA blot analysis confirmed transgene integration into plastid DNA and homoplasmy. Maternal inheritance and homoplasmy resulted in 100 transmission of spectinomycin resistance to progeny after selfing. Plastid transformants expressed the gusA gene uniformly within leaves and to comparable levels in all three lines. Insertion of trait genes in place of gusA coding sequences enables immediate applications of our plastid transformation vector. Establishment of plastid transformation in P. hybrida facilitates a safe and reliable use of this important ornamental plant for research and plant biotechnology.


chloroplast genetic engineering floriculture genetically modified petunia plastid transformation EMBL Accessions: AJ276677 AJ578474