Development of a microtargeting device for particle bombardment of plant meristems
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A gene transfer system for meristem cells was developed on the basis of a ballistic approach. In order to meet some important prerequisites for an efficient transfer system, such as for example aiming at small tissues and control of penetration of the microprojectiles, we developed an acceleration system fundamentally different from the usual macroprojectile driven approach. Instead of a macroprojectile, microtargeting uses the law of Bernoulli for accleration of highly uniform-sized gold particles. The system is able to deliver 80% of the particles to an area as small as 150 micron in diameter, which corresponds to the size of a meristem. Microtargeting yields gene delivery (measured as number of transiently GUS expressing cells to up to 3% of the cells exposed in the target area or up to 35 × 103 cells per cm2. Stable transformation of tobacco microcolonies with the microtargeting device was shown to have an efficiency up to one stable transformant per 1000 cells exposed to the shot, or up to one transformant per shot. We perform 4 or 5 shots per min. After 30 to 40 shots, reloading can take up to 2 min. Microtargeting is very flexible and allows for the adjustment of the important parameters to fit the requirements of the respective tissue.
Key wordsballistic aiming glucuronidase gold particles microprojectiles Nicotiana tabacum L. tobacco Triticum aestivum L. wheat
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