Shoot apical meristem: A sustainable explant for genetic transformation of cereal crops

Invited Review


Immature zygotic embryo has been the widely used explant source to develop embryogenic callus lines, cell suspensions and protoplasts for transformation of cereal crops including maize, wheat, rice, oat, barley, sorghum, and millet. However, the lack of competence of immature embryos in certain elite lines is still a barrier to rontine production of transgenic cereal crops in certain commercial cultivars. In addition, a great deal of effort is required to produce immature embryos, manipulate cultures, of immature embryos or their cell suspensions, and cryoperserve cultures for further use. In addition, undifferentiated cells may have reduced regenerability after a few months, of in vitro culture. Alternative explants and regeneration systems for efficient transformation of cereal crops are needed to avoid or reduce the above limitations. During the past decade, scientists have successfully manipulated the shoot apical meristerms from seedlings of maize oat, sorghum, millet, wheat, and barley in an effort to develop a less genetype-dependent and efficient cereal regneration system that can be maintained in vitro for long pertiods of time without the need for cryopreservation. Furthermore, apical mesistem regeneration systems were used to stably transform maize, wheat, rice, oat, barley, sorghum, and millet.

Key words

cereals and genetic engineering shoot meristem transformation 


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Copyright information

© Society for In Vitro Biology 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing

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