Overproduction of alfalfa glutamine synthetase in transgenic tobacco plants
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We have obtained transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing the enzyme glutamine synthetase (GS) by fusing an alfalfa GS gene to the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promotor and integrating it intoNicotiana tabacum var. W38 plants byAgrobacterium tumefaciens mediated gene transfer. The amount of RNA specific to alfalfa GS was about 10 times higher in transgenic tobacco plants than in alfalfa. The alfalfa GS produced by these transgenic plants was identified by Western blotting and represented 5% of total soluble protein in the transformed plants, amounting to a 5-fold increase in specific GS activity and in a 20-fold increase in resistance to the GS inhibitorl-phosphinothricin in vitro. Tissue from GS overproducing plants showed a sevenfold lower amount of free NH3. The amino acid composition of the plant tissue was not altered significantly by GS overproduction. GS overproducing plants were fertile and grew normally. These data show that a high level of expression of a key metabolic enzyme such as glutamine synthetase does not interfere with growth and fertility of plants.
Key wordsGlutamine synthetase Protein overproduction Herbicide resistant plants Phosphinothricin Glufosinate
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