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Resistance to hygromycin B

A new marker for plant transformation studies

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A bacterial gene encoding hygromycin phosphotransferase has been modified for expression in tobacco cells. The aphIV gene from Escherichia coli was inserted between the 5′ sequence of an octopine synthase gene and the 3′ sequence from a nopaline synthase gene. The new gene was incorporated between T-DNA border fragments in the broad-host-range vector pKT210 to form a micro-Ti plasmid. Agrobacterium tumefaciens containing this plasmid and a Ti plasmid as helper was used to incite crown gall tumors on aseptic tobacco plants. Samples of these galls could grow in the presence of hygromycin B, provided that the aph gene had been fused with the ocs gene to maintain the sense of the coding sequences. When the genes had been fused in the reverse ‘antisense’ orientation none of the gall samples could grow on hygromycin. Unlike wild-type galls the hygromycin-resistant tissue contained DNA sequences homologous to the aphIV gene. Thus the modified gene can be introduced into tobacco cells and confer on them the ability to grow in the presence of hygromycin B.

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Waldron, C., Murphy, E.B., Roberts, J.L. et al. Resistance to hygromycin B. Plant Mol Biol 5, 103–108 (1985).

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