Transformation of a grain legume (Lupinus angustifolius L.) via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated gene transfer to shoot apices

A. Pigeaire, D. Abernethy, P.M. Smith, K. Simpson, Natalie Fletcher, CHIN-YI Lu, Craig Atkins, E. Cornish

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    Transgenic plants of Lupinus angustifolius L. (cvs. Unicrop and Merrit) were routinely generated using Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer to shoot apices. The bar gene for resistance to phosphinothricin (PPT, the active ingredient of the herbicide Basta) was used as the selectable marker. After co-cultivation, the shoot apex explants were transferred onto a PPT-free regeneration medium and their tops were thoroughly wetted with PPT solution (2 mg/ml). The multiple axillary shoots developing from the shoot apices were excised onto a medium containing 20 mg/l PPT. The surviving shoots were transferred every second week onto fresh medium containing 20 mg/l PPT. At each transfer, the number of surviving shoots decreased, until it stabilized. Indeed, some of these chimeric shoots surviving the PPT selection, eventually produced new green healthier axillary shoots which could be transferred to soil. This whole process took from 5 to 9 months after co-cultivation. Average transformation frequencies of 2.8% for cv. Unicrop and of 0.4% for the commercial cultivar Merrit were achieved. Molecular analysis of T-0, T-1, and T-2 generations demonstrated stable integration of the foreign gene into the plant genome and expression of the integrated gene. Transformed plants of the T-1 and T-2 generations were resistant in glasshouse trials where the herbicide Basta (0.1 mg/ml) was sprayed onto whole plants. These results demonstrate that Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer to preorganised meristematic tissue combined with axillary regeneration can form the basis of a routine transformation system for legume crop species which are difficult to regenerate from other explants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)341-349
    JournalMolecular Breeding
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


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