Selection of independent Ds transposon insertions in somatic tissue of potato by protoplast regeneration

L.J.G. van Enckevort, J.E.M. Bergervoet-van Deelen, W.J. Stiekema, A. Pereira, E. Jacobsen

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Potato is an autotetraploid crop plant that is not very amenable to the deployment of transposon tagging for gene cloning and gene identification. After diploidisation it is possible to get potato genotypes that grow well, but they are self-incompatible. This prevents the production of selfed progeny that are normally used in gene tagging approaches to select for parental lines with the target gene to be tagged in a homozygous stage. We describe here an alternative selection method for directed transposon tagging for a gene of interest in a heterozygous background. Diploid potato plants with a Ds transposon linked to the desired gene of interest (the Phytophthora infestans R1 resistance locus) in a heterozygous stage were used for the development of this directed transposon tagging strategy. After crossing to a diploid Ac transposon-containing genotype, 22 ’interesting' seedlings (R1Ds/r-; Ac/-) were selected that showed active Ds transposition as displayed by DNA blot hybridisation, empty donor site PCR and sequencing. Protoplast isolation and the use of the hygromycin gene as a cell-specific selection marker of Ds excision enabled the direct selection of Ds excision sectors in these highly chimaeric seedlings. This somatic selection of Ds transpositions and the regeneration through protoplasts resulted in the development of a large population of almost 2000 hygromycin-resistant plants. Southern blot analysis confirmed the insertion of Ds at independent positions in the genome. Every selected plant displayed independent Ds excisions and re-insertions due to the expression of the Ac transposase throughout development. This population, which is developed from seedlings with the desired R1 gene in a heterozygous stage, is directly useful for searching for transposon-tagged R1 mutants. In general, this approach for selecting for somatic transpositions is particularly suitable for the molecular isolation of genes in a heterozygous crop like potato.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-510
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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