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Tissue culture and transformation of the antisense DFR gene into lotus ( Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) through particle bombardment

1 Introduction</h5> The lotus ( Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.) is an aquatic plant of economic and ornamental importance in Thailand. The seeds, young leaves, and rhizomes of this plant are eaten. It is also well known as a medicinal plant due to the use of its petals and stamen. Its flowers is closely associated with Buddhism, in which it is used as a symbol and for decorative proposes ( Suvatabandhu, 1958 ). There are four commercial varieties of lotus available in Thailand, which have exhibited limited development through breeding programmes. The development of callus induction and regeneration protocols will provide a useful tool for the further commercial development of this plant. Although some variants have been produced through mutation induction using X-rays, gamma rays, and chemical mutagens, this approach has been unable to target specific characteristics ( Arunyanart and Soontronyatara, 2002 ). In particular, we are interested in obtaining a variation in the flower colour, which is limited to white and pink in Thai varieties.</P>Molecular breeding provides a powerful method for plant breeding because it makes it possible to target a specific plant characteristic without changing the others. Some examples relating to the flower colour are the following: Agrobacterium http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scientia Horticulturae Elsevier
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