Plant development inhibitory genes in binary vector backbone improve quality event efficiency in soybean transformation
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Conventional Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation often produces a significant frequency of transgenic events containing vector backbone sequence, which is generally undesirable for biotechnology applications. We tested methods to reduce the frequency of transgenic plants containing vector backbone by incorporating genes into the backbone that inhibit the development of transgenic plants. Four backbone frequency reduction genes, bacterial levansucrase (sacB), maize cytokinin oxidase (CKX), Phaseolus GA 2-oxidase (GA 2-ox), and bacterial phytoene synthase (crtB), each expressed by the enhanced CaMV 35S promoter, were placed individually in a binary vector backbone near the left border (LB) of binary vectors. In transformed soybean plants, the lowest frequency of backbone presence was observed when the constitutively expressed CKX gene was used, followed by crtB. Higher backbone frequencies were found among the plants transformed with the GA 2-oxidase and sacB vectors. In some events, transfer of short backbone fragments appeared to be caused by LB readthrough and termination within the backbone reduction gene. To determine the effect of the backbone genes on transformation frequency, the crtB and CKX vectors were then compared to a control vector in soybean transformation experiments. The results revealed that there was no significant transformation frequency difference between the crtB and control vectors, but the CKX vector showed a significant transformation frequency decrease. Molecular analysis revealed that the frequency of transgenic plants containing one or two copies of the transgene and free of backbone was significantly increased by both the CKX and crtB backbone reduction vectors, indicating that there may be a correlation between transgene copy number and backbone frequency.
KeywordsSoybean transformation T-DNA, Vector backbone Cytokinin oxidase crtB GA 2-oxidase sacB
The authors thank the Monsanto Middleton Soybean Transformation Team for transgenic plant production, the Middleton Trait Development team for greenhouse care, Drs. D. Somers and Y. Wan for critical reading manuscript and stimulating discussion, C. Lawson for helpful suggestions, and C. Marquez for statistical analysis.
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