Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 4947–4953 | Cite as

An efficient protocol for genetic transformation of watercress (Nasturtium officinale) using Agrobacterium rhizogenes

  • Nam Il Park
  • Jae Kwang Kim
  • Woo Tae Park
  • Jin Woong Cho
  • Yong Pyo Lim
  • Sang Un Park


Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a member of the Brassicaceae family and a rich source of glucosinolate, which has been shown to possess anticancer properties. To extract these compounds from N. officinale for study, a method was developed in which Agrobacterium rhizogenes was used to transfer DNA segments into plant genomes in order to produce hairy root cultures, which are a reliable source of plant compounds. The A. rhizogenes strain R1000 had the highest infection frequency and induces the most hairy roots per explant. Polymerase chain reaction and cytohistochemical staining methods were used to validate transgenic hairy roots from N. officinale. Glucosinolate from watercress hairy roots was separated and analyzed using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Indolic glucosinolates, including glucobrassicin (0.01–0.02 μmol/g of DW) and 4-methoxyglucobrassicin (0.06–0.18 μmol/g of DW), as well as aromatic glucosinolate (gluconasturtiin) (0.06–0.21 μmol/g of DW), were identified virtually identical or more in transformed than wild type roots of N. officinale. Hairy root culture of watercress is a valuable approach for future efforts in the metabolic engineering of glucosinolate biofortification in plants, particularly, because indolic glucosinolates are the precursors of a potent cancer chemopreventive agent (indole-3-carbinol).


Watercress Nasturtium officinale Indolic glucosinolates Agrobacterium rhizogenes Hairy root culture 



This work was supported by grants for the Technology Development Program for Agriculture and Forestry (Grant no. 607002-05), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of Korea.

Supplementary material

11033_2010_638_MOESM1_ESM.doc (42 kb)
The online version of this article contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. (DOC 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Crop Science, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea
  2. 2.National Academy of Agricultural Science, Rural Development AdministrationSuwonKorea
  3. 3.Department of Horticultural Science, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesChungnam National UniversityDaejeonKorea

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