Producing Herbicide Tolerant Populus Using Genetic Transformation Mediated by Agrobacterium Tumefaciens C58: A Summary of Recent Research

  • Don E. Riemenschneider
  • Bruce E. Haissig
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 210)


We tested the hypothesis that genetic transformation mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain C58 will produce Populus with better than normal tolerance of the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate). The basic strategy was so-called target enzyme protection. Using a binary C58-based vector, T-DNA from two engineered plasmids (pPMG 85/587 or pCGN 1107) was separately inserted into Populus alba x P. grandidentata cv. ‘Crandon.’ Both these plasmids contained a bacterial gene (aroA) that encodes a chimeric 5-enol-pyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase that tolerates Roundup better than normal enzyme. Compared to plasmid pPMG 85/587, pCGN 1107 contained a better gene promoter and added coding to help movement of chimeric EPSP synthase from cytoplasm to chloroplasts. Transformations with plasmid pPMG 85/587 yielded normal greenhouse plants with aroA and increased Roundup tolerance. This was the first transformation and regeneration of a woody plant with an important gene. Southern blots of greenhouse plants from tissues transformed with pCGN 1107 also showed that aroA was present; hence, plants were produced wherein chimeric EPSP synthase was targeted for chloroplast expression. Roundup tolerance tests of those plants are underway. A host range study revealed that C58 transforms Populus of diverse ancestry. But, parental genotype governs whether a progeny is susceptible or resistant to C58.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don E. Riemenschneider
    • 1
  • Bruce E. Haissig
    • 1
  1. 1.North Central Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences LaboratoryUSDA Forest ServiceRhinelanderUSA

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