Improvement of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in Hi-II maize (Zea mays) using standard binary vectors
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- Vega, J.M., Yu, W., Kennon, A.R. et al. Plant Cell Rep (2008) 27: 297. doi:10.1007/s00299-007-0463-z
High-frequency transformation of maize (Zea mays L.) using standard binary vectors is advantageous for functional genomics and other genetic engineering studies. Recent advances in Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of maize have made it possible for the public to transform maize using standard binary vectors without a need of the superbinary vector. While maize Hi-II has been a preferred maize genotype to use in various maize transformation efforts, there is still potential and need in further improving its transformation frequency. Here we report the enhanced Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of immature zygotic embryos of maize Hi-II using standard binary vectors. This improved transformation process employs low-salt media in combined use with antioxidant l-cysteine alone or l-cysteine and dithiothreitol (DTT) during the Agrobacterium infection stage. Three levels of N6 medium salts, 10, 50, and 100%, were tested. Both 10 and 50% salts were found to enhance the T-DNA transfer in Hi-II. Addition of DTT to the cocultivation medium also improves the T-DNA transformation. About 12% overall and the highest average of 18% transformation frequencies were achieved from a large number of experiments using immature embryos grown in various seasons. The enhanced transformation protocol established here will be advantageous for maize genetic engineering studies including transformation-based functional genomics.