Agrobacterium tumefaciens has been routinely utilized in gene transfer to dicotyledonous plants, but monocotyledonous plants including important cereals were thought to be recalcitrant to this technology as they were outside the host range of crown gall. Various challenges to infect monocotyledons including rice with Agrobacterium had been made in many laboratories, but the results were not conclusive until recently. Efficient transformation protocols mediated by Agrobacterium were reported for rice in 1994 and 1996. A key point in the protocols was the fact that tissues consisting of actively dividing, embryonic cells, such as immature embryos and calli induced from scutella, were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium in the presence of acetosyringonc, which is a potent inducer of the virulence genes. It is now clear that Agrobacterium is capable of transferring DNA to monocotyledons if tissues containing ‘competent’ cells are infected. The studies of transformation of rice suggested that numerous factors including genotype of plants, types and ages of tissues inoculated, kind of vectors, strains of Agrobacterium, selection marker genes and selective agents, and various conditions of tissue culture, are of critical importance. Advantages of the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in rice, like on dicotyledons, include the transfer of pieces of DNA with defined ends with minimal rearrangements, the transfer of relatively large segments of DNA, the integration of small numbers of copies of genes into plant chromosomes, and high quality and fertility of transgenic plants. Delivery of foreign DNA to rice plants via A. tumefaciens is a routine technique in a growing number of laboratories. This technique will allow the genetic improvement of diverse varieties of rice, as well as studies of many aspects of the molecular biology of rice.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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