Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of embryogenic calluses of Ponkan mandarin and the regeneration of plants containing the chimeric ribonuclease gene
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Ponkan (Citrus reticulata Blanco), one of the most important commercial cultivars of mandarin, is very seedy. In this study, the chimeric ribonuclease gene (barnase) driven by an anther tapetum-specific promoter (pTA29) was introduced into embryogenic callus of Ponkan by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using the bar gene as a selectable marker. In contrast to previous reports, embryogenic calluses were used as the explant for Agrobacterium infection and transgenic plant regeneration. Selection of transformed callus was accomplished using basta. After 3 days of co-culture, calluses were transferred to MT medium with 50 mg/l basta and 400 mg/l cefotaxime. Resistant calluses were recovered and proliferated after three to four subcultures and then regenerated plantlets. A total of 52 resistant plants were recovered, of which 43 were verified to be transformants by polymerase chain reaction amplification of a fragment of the transgene. Southern hybridization of seven randomly selected transformed plants further confirmed their transgenic nature. The potential of this strategy for breeding citrus seedless types is discussed.
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