Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 519–529 | Cite as

Improvement of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation frequency in multiple modern elite commercial maize (Zea mays L.) inbreds by media modifications

  • Myeong-Je ChoEmail author
  • Jenny Banh
  • Maryanne Yu
  • Jackie Kwan
  • Todd J. Jones
Original Paper


The current study describes a robust, high-frequency Agrobacterium-mediated transformation protocol suitable for multiple recalcitrant modern elite commercial maize inbreds employing media modifications with glucose, cupric sulfate and a cytokinin, 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). An optimal combination of these three key elements in the co-cultivation, resting, and selection media resulted in 4- to 14-fold improvements in transformation frequencies at the T0 plant level of 9.7, 31.9, 9.6 and 10.0 % for PH4CN, PH12BN, PHW0V and PH17R8, respectively. Transformation frequency in PH1CP1 was also improved at the T0 tissue level from 2.5 to 8.3 %. The addition of cupric sulfate and BAP in the co-cultivation medium improved transformation frequency in all inbreds except PH4CN. The use of cupric sulfate and BAP in combination with additional glucose in the selection medium was especially important, significantly improving the transformation frequency in 3 (PH4CN, PHW0V and PH1CP1) out of 5 inbreds by increasing the proliferation of high quality regenerable tissue. It was observed that the amount/ratio of these three components needed to be optimized for each inbred. The results in this study can be applied to optimize the tissue culture response and improve transformation frequency in other recalcitrant elite commercial maize inbreds.


Maize elite inbred transformation Agrobacterium Green regenerative tissue medium Copper 6-Benzylaminopurine Glucose 





Green regenerative tissue


Immature embryo


Maize codon-optimized phosphinothricin acetyltransferase


Modified PHI-T medium


Non-stiff stalk


Phosphomannose isomerase




Quality event


Yellow fluorescent protein


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myeong-Je Cho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jenny Banh
    • 1
  • Maryanne Yu
    • 1
  • Jackie Kwan
    • 1
  • Todd J. Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.DuPont Agricultural BiotechnologyDuPont-PioneerHaywardUSA
  2. 2.DuPont Agricultural BiotechnologyDuPont-PioneerJohnstonUSA

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