PMI (manA) as a nonantibiotic selectable marker gene in plant biotechnology

  • P. StoykovaEmail author
  • P. Stoeva-Popova


Due to the rising public concern over the use of genes conferring antibiotic and herbicide resistance, alternative systems for selection after plant transformation are being developed. A positive selection system consists of a physiologically inert metabolite as the selection agent and a respective gene which determines a metabolic advantage via selection agent utilization. The transformed cells are able to overcome the suppressive effects of the selection, while the untransformed ones starve but are not killed. The enzyme phosphomannose isomerase (PMI, E.C. catalyzes the reversible interconversion of mannose-6-phosphate and fructose-6-phosphate in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. The PMI selection system is called positive due to the effect of “starvation” caused to the nontransformed plant tissue because of its incapability to utilize mannose as a carbon source. In this mini-review we researched the literature to obtain a more detailed view of the characteristics, specifics, problems, and advantages of applying the PMI/mannose selection system.


Mannose Phosphomannose isomerase Positive selection Plant genetic transformation 







Phosphomannose isomerase


Transformation efficiency


Adenosine triphosphate


Polymerase chain reaction


  1. Aswath CR, Mo SY, Kim DH, Park SW (2006) Agrobacterium and biolistic transformation of onion using non-antibiotic selection marker phosphomannose isomerase. Plant Cell Rep 25:92–99PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ballester A, Cervera M, Pena L (2008) Evaluation of selection strategies alternative to nptII in genetic transformation of citrus. Plant Cell Rep 27:1005–1015PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boscariol RL, Almeida WAB, Derbyshire MTVC, Mourao Filho FAA, Mendes BMG (2003) The use of PMI/mannose selection system to recover transgenic sweet orange plants (Citrus sinensis L.Osbeck). Plant Cell Rep 22:122–128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Briza J, Pavingerova D, Prikrylova P, Gazdova J, Vlasak J, Niedermeierova H (2008) Use of phosphomannose isomerase-based selection system for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of tomato and potato. Biol Plant 52:453–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Briza J, Ruzickova N, Niedermeierova H, Dusbabkova J, Vlasak J (2010) Phosphomannose isomerase gene for selection in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) transformation. Acta Biochim Pol 57:63–68PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chiang YC, Kiang YT (1988) Genetic analysis of mannose-6-phosphate isomerase in soybeans. Genome 30:808–811Google Scholar
  7. Craig W, Tepfer M, Degrassi G, Ripandelli D (2008) An overview of general features of risk assessment of genetically modified crops. Euphytica 164:853–880CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Degenhardt J, Poppe A, Montag J, Szankowski I (2006) The use of the phosphomannose-isomerase/mannose selection system to recover transgenic apple plants. Plant Cell Rep 25:1149–1156PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ebmeier A, Allison L, Cerutti H, Clemente T (2004) Evaluation of the Escherichia coli threonine deaminase gene as a selectable marker for plant transformation. Planta 218:751–758PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Erikson O, Hertzberg M, Nasholm T (2005) The dsdA gene from Escherichia coli provides a novel selectable marker for plant transformation. Plant Mol Biol 57:425–433PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2007) Statement of the Scientific Panel on genetically modified organisms on the safe use of the nptII antibiotic resistance marker gene in genetically modified plants. Available at:
  12. Feeney M, Punja ZK (2003) Tissue culture and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). In Vitro Cell Dev Biol-Plant 39:578–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fu D, Xiao Y, Muthukrishnan S, Liang GH (2005) In vivo performance of a dual genetic marker, manA-GFP, in transgenic bentgrass. Genome 48:722–730PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gadaleta A, Giancaspro A, Blechl A, Blanco A (2006) Phosphomannose isomerase, PMI, as a selectable marker gene for durum wheat transformation. J Cereal Sci 43: 31–37Google Scholar
  15. Gao Z, Xie X, Ling Y, Muthukrishnan S, Liang GH (2005) Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated sorghum transformation using a mannose selection system. Plant Biotechnol J 3(6):591–599PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goldsworthy A, Street HE (1965) The carbohydrate nutrition of tomato roots VIII. The mechanism of the inhibition by D-mannose of the respiration of excised roots. Ann Bot 29:45–58Google Scholar
  17. Gracy RW, Noltmann EA (1968) Studies on phosphomannose isomerase I. Isolation, homogeneity, measurements, and determination of some physical properties. J Biol Chem 243:3161–3168PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Haldrup A, Petersen SG, Okkels FT (1998) The xylose isomerase gene from Thermoanaerobacterium thermosulfurogenes allows effective selection of transgenic plant cells using D-xylose as the selection agent. Plant Mol Biol 37:287–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hansen G, Wright MS (1999) Recent advances in the transformation of plants. Trends Plant Sci 4:226–231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. He Z, Fu Y, Si H, Hu G, Zhang S, Yu Y, Sun Z (2004) Phosphomannose-isomerase (pmi) gene as a selectable marker for rice transformation via Agrobacterium. Plant Sci 166:17–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. He Z, Duan Z, Liang W, Chen F, Yao W, Liang H, Yue C, Sun Z, Chen F, Dai J (2006) Mannose selection system used for cucumber transformation. Plant Cell Rep 25:953–958PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hoa TTC, Bong BB (2002) Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of rice embryogenic suspension cells using phosphomannose isomerase gene, pmi, as a selectable marker. OmonRice 10:1–5Google Scholar
  23. Hoa TTC, Al-Babili S, Schaub P, Potrycus I, Beyer P (2003) Golden indica and japonica rice lines amenable to deregulation. Plant Physiol 133:161–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hsiao P, Sanjaya Su R-C, Teixeira da Silva JA, Chan MT (2007) Plant native tryptophan synthase beta 1 gene is a non-antibiotic selection marker for plant transformation. Planta 225:897–906Google Scholar
  25. Jain M, Chengalrayan K, Abouzid A, Gallo M (2007) Prospecting the utility of a PMI/mannose selection system for the recovery of transgenic sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) plants. Plant Cell Rep 26:581–590PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jang JC, Sheen J (1997) Sugar sensing in higher plants. Trends Plant Sci 2:208–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Joersbo M, Donaldson I, Kreiberg J, Petersen SG, Brunstedt J, Okkels FT (1998) Analysis of mannose selection used for transformation of sugar beet. Mol Breed 4:111–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Joersbo M, Petersen SG, Okkels FT (1999) Parameters interacting with mannose selection employed for the production of transgenic sugar beet. Physiol Plant 105:109–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kim JY, Jung M, Kim HS, Lee YH, Choi SH, Lim YP, Min BW, Yang SG, Harn CH (2002) A new selection system for pepper regeneration by mannose. J Plant Biotechnol 4:129–134Google Scholar
  30. Ku J-J, Park Y-H, Park Y-D (2006) A non-antibiotic selection system uses the phosphomannose isomerase (PMI) gene for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Chinese cabbage. J Plant Biol 49:115–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. LaFayette PR, Kane PM, Phan BH, Parrot WA (2005) Arabitol dehydrogenase as a selectable marker for rice. Plant Cell Rep 24:596–602PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lamblin F, Aime A, Hano C, Roussy I, Domon J-M, Van Droogenbroeck B, Laine E (2007) The use of the phosphomannose isomerase gene as alternative selectable marker for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of flax (Linum usitatissimum). Plant Cell Rep 26:765–772PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lee BT, Matheson NK (1984) Phosphomannoisomerase and phosphogucoisomerase in seeds of Cassia coluteoides and some other legumes that synthesize galactomannan. Phytochemistry 23:983–987CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Li H-Q, Kang P-J, Li M-L, Li M-R (2007) Genetic transformation of Torenia fournieri using the PMI/mannose selection system. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 90:103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lucca P, Ye X, Potrycus I (2001) Effective selection and regeneration of transgenic rice plants with mannose as selective agent. Mol Breed 7:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Malca I, Endo R, Long M (1967) Mechanism of glucose counteraction of inhibition of root elongation by galactose, mannose and glucosamine. Phytopathology 57:272–278Google Scholar
  37. Miles JS, Guest JR (1984) Nucleotide sequence and transcriptional start point of the phosphomannose isomerase gene (manA) of Escherichia coli. Gene 32:41–48PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Min B-W, Cho Y-N, Song M-J, Noh T-K, Kim B-K, Chae W-K, Park Y-S, Choi Y-D, Harn C-H (2007) Successful genetic transformation of Chinese cabbage using phosphomannose isomerase as a selection marker. Plant Cell Rep 26:337–344PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Negrotto D, Jolley M, Beer S, Wenck AR, Hansen G (2000) The use of phosphomannose-isomerase as a selectable marker to recover transgenic maize plants (Zea mays L.) via Agrobacterium transformation. Plant Cell Rep 19:798–803CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Niehues R, Hasilik M, Alton G, Korner C, Schiebe-Sukumar M, Koch HG, Zimmer K-P, Wu R, Harms E, Reiter K, von Figura K, Freeze HH, Harms HK, Marquardt T (1998) Carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome type Ib: phosphomannose isomerase deficiency and mannose therapy. J Clin Invest 101:1414–1420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. O’Kennedy MM, Burger JT, Botha FC (2004) Pearl millet transformation system using the positive selectable marker gene phosphomannose isomerase. Plant Cell Rep 22:684–690PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Patil G, Deokar A, Jain PK, Thengane RJ, Srinivasan R (2009) Development of a phosphomannose isomerase-based Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Plant Cell Rep 28:1669–1676PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pego JV, Weisbeek PJ, Smeekens SCM (1999) Mannose inhibits Arabidopsis germination via a hexokinase-mediated step. Plant Physiol 119:1017–1023PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Penna S, Ramaswamy MB, Anant BV (2008) Mannose-based selection with phosphomannose-isomerase (PMI) gene as a positive selectable marker for rice genetic transformation. J Crop Sci Biotechnol 11(4):233–236Google Scholar
  45. Proudfoot AEI, Payton MA, Wells TNC (1994a) Purification and characterization of fungal and mammalian phosphomannose isomerases. Protein Chem 13:619–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Proudfoot AEI, Turcatti G, Wells TNC, Payton MA, Smith DJ (1994b) Purification, cDNA cloning and heterologous expression of human phosphomannose isomerase. Eur J Biochem 219:415–423PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ramesh SA, Kaiser BN, Franks T, Collins G, Sedgley M (2006) Improved methods in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of almond using positive (mannose/pmi) or negative (kanamycin resistance) selection-based protocols. Plant Cell Rep 25:821–828PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Reed J, Privalle L, Luann Powell M, Meghji M, Dawson J, Dunder E, Suttle J, Wenck A, Launis K, Kramer C, Chang Y-F, Hansen G, Wright M (2001) Phosphomannose isomerase: an efficient selectable marker for plant transformation. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol-Plant 37:127–132Google Scholar
  49. Rosellini D, Capomaccio S, Ferradini N, Sardaro MLS, Nicolia A, Veronesi F (2007) Non-antibiotic, efficient selection for alfalfa genetic engineering. Plant Cell Rep 26:1035–1044PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sigareva M, Spivey R, Willits MG, Kramer CM, Chang Y-F (2004) An efficient mannose selection protocol for tomato that has no adverse effect on the ploidy level of transgenic plants. Plant Cell Rep 23:236–245PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Society of Toxicology (SOT) (2003) Society of Toxicology position paper. The safety of genetically modified foods produced through biotechnology. Toxicol Sci 71:2–8Google Scholar
  52. Sonntag K, Wang Y, Wallbraun M (2004) A transformation method for obtaining marker-free plants based on phosphomannose isomerase. Acta Univ Latviensis Biol 676:223–226Google Scholar
  53. Stein JC, Hansen G (1999) Mannose induces an endonuclease responsible for DNA laddering in plant cells. Plant Physiol 121:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stoykova P, Radkova M, Stoeva-Popova P, Wang X, Atanassov A (2007) Transgenic Lycopersicon ssp. plants expressing the gene for human acidic fibroblast growth factor. Rep Tomato Genet Coop Tomato Genet Coop 57:41–43Google Scholar
  55. Todd R, Tague BW (2001) Phosphomannose isomerase: a versatile selectable marker for Arabidopsis thaliana germ-line transformation. Plant Mol Biol Rep 19:307–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wallbraun M, Sonntag K, Eisenhauer C, Krzcal G, Wang YP (2009) Phosphomannose isomerase (pmi) gene as a selectable marker for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of rapeseed. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 99:345–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wang AS, Evans RA, Altendorf PR, Hanten JA, Doyle MC, Rosichan JL (2000) A mannose selection system for production of fertile transgenic maize plants from protoplasts. Plant Cell Rep 19:654–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wright M, Dawson J, Dunder E, Suttie J, Reed J, Kramer C, Chang Y, Novitzky R, Wang H, Artim-Moore L (2001) Efficient biolistic transformation of maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using the phosphomannose isomerase gene, pmi, as the selectable marker. Plant Cell Rep 20:429–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zai-Song D, Ming Z, Yu-Xiang J, Liang-Bi L, Ting-Yun K (2006) Efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of rice by phosphomannose isomerase/mannose selection. Plant Mol Biol Rep 24:295–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zhang P, Puonti-Kaerlas J (2000) PIG-mediated cassava transformation using positive and negative selection. Plant Cell Rep 19:1041–1048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zhang S, Zhu L-H, Li X-Y, Ahlman A (2005) Infection by Agrobacterium tumefaciens increased the resistance of leaf explants to selective agents in carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L. and D. chinensis). Plant Sci 168:137–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhu YJ, Agbayani R, McCafferty H, Albert HH, Moore PH (2005) Effective selection of transgenic papaya plants with the PMI/Man selection system. Plant Cell Rep 24:426–432PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AgroBioInstituteSofiaBulgaria
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWinthrop UniversityRock HillUSA

Personalised recommendations