, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 229-242

Recovery of phenotypically normal transgenic plants of Brassica oleracea upon Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated co-transformation and selection of transformed hairy roots by GUS assay

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In this paper we describe the production of transgenic broccoli and cauliflower with normal phenotype using an Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation system with efficient selection for transgenic hairy-roots. Hypocotyls were inoculated with Agrobacterium strain A4T harbouring the bacterial plasmid pRiA4 and a binary vector pMaspro::GUS whose T-DNA region carried the gus reporter gene. pRiA4 transfers TL sequences carrying the rol genes that induce hairy root formation. Transgenic hairy-root production was increased in a difficult-to-transform cultivar by inclusion of 2,4-D in the medium used to resuspend the Agrobacterium prior to inoculation. Transgenic hairy roots could be selected from inoculated explants by screening root sections for GUS activity; this method eliminated the use of antibiotic resistance marker genes for selection. Transgenic hairy roots were produced from two cauliflower and four broccoli culivars. Shoots were regenerated from transgenic hairy root cultures of all four cultivars tested and successfully acclimatized to glasshouse conditions, although some plants had higher than diploid ploidy levels. Southern analysis confirmed the transgenic nature of these plants. T0 plants from seven transgenic lines were crossed or selfed to produce viable seed. Genetic analysis of T1 progeny confirmed the transmission of traits and revealed both independent and co-segregation of Ri TL-DNA and vector T-DNA. GUS-positive phenotypically normal progeny free of TL-DNA were identified in three transgenic lines out of the six tested representing all the cultivars regenerated including both cauliflower and broccoli.