Molecular Breeding

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 27–36 | Cite as

Genetically engineered resistance to organophosphate herbicides provides a new scoreable and selectable marker system for transgenic plants

  • T. Scott Pinkerton
  • John A. Howard
  • James R. Wild


Organophosphate hydrolase (OPH, E.C.; encoded by the bacterial opd gene) provides a new scoreable and selectable genetic marker system for use in plant cell culture and regenerated plant tissue. OPH hydrolyzes a wide range of substrates that produce visually detectable products, which can be readily quantified in biological tissues. A variety of different OP compounds, both herbicides and pesticides, have been identified as acceptable enzymatic substrates, which can be used to generate transgenic markers for various types of plant tissues. For example, transgenic leaf tissue was easily differentiated from non-transgenic tissue by a simple fluorescent assay utilizing the OP insecticide coroxon. Transformed callus and intact whole seed could be easily distinguished from non-transformed tissue using novel non-destructive methods which allowed callus or seeds to grow and/or to germinate after phenotypic scoring with non-herbicidal OP insecticides such as paraoxon. In addition to being used as a scoreable phenotypic markers with various OP pesticides, the OP compounds Haloxon and Bensulide (Bensumec-4LF) were effective as positive selection agents for callus and germinating seeds.


Selectable genetic marker Herbicide resistance OP hydrolase Transgenic plants Zea mays 



We would like to state our appreciation to ProdiGene, Inc. formerly of College Station, Texas, for support with the evaluation of plant biology experimentation, and for underwriting research support for TSP.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Scott Pinkerton
    • 1
    • 2
  • John A. Howard
    • 1
    • 3
  • James R. Wild
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Crop Bio-Protection UnitNational Center for Agriculture Utilization Research/ARS/USDA PeoriaUSA
  3. 3.Applied Biotechnology InstituteCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

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