Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 341–351 | Cite as

Expression of mouse metallothionein-I gene confers cadmium resistance in transgenic tobacco plants

  • Aihua Pan
  • Meizhu Yang
  • Feng Tie
  • Lingyua Li
  • Zhangliang Chen
  • Biggen Ru
Research Article

Abstract

Transgenic tobacco plants containing a mouse metallothionein-I (MT-I) gene fused to the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S (CaMV 35S) promoter and nopaline synthase (nos) polyadenylation site were obtained by transforming tobacco leaf discs with an Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain carrying the chimaeric gene. Transformants were directly selected and rooted on medium containing cadmium and kanamycin. A total of 49 individual transgenic tobacco plants were regenerated. Among them 20% showed a very high expression level and their growth was unaffected by up to 200 μM cadmium, whereas the growth of control plants was severely affected leaf chlorosis occurred on medium containing only 10 μM cadmium. The concentration of MT-I in leaves of control and transgenic tobacco was determined with Cd/haemoglobin saturation assay, a polarographic method and western blotting. In addition, seeds from self-fertilized transgenic plants were germinated on medium containing toxic levels of cadmium and scored for tolerance/susceptibility to this heavy metal. The ratio of tolerant to susceptible plants was 3:1 indicating that the metallothionein gene is inherited as a single locus.

Key words

tobacco transgenic mouse metallothionein gene cadmium resistance 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aihua Pan
    • 1
  • Meizhu Yang
    • 1
  • Feng Tie
    • 1
  • Lingyua Li
    • 1
  • Zhangliang Chen
    • 1
  • Biggen Ru
    • 1
  1. 1.National Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering, Department of BiologyPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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