The development of a reproducible Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation system for garlic (Allium sativum L.) and the production of transgenic garlic resistant to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner)

S.J. Zheng Sijun, B. Henken, Y.K. Ahn, F.A. Krens, C. Kik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes the development of a reliable transformation system for garlic (Allium sativum L.) and its application in producing insect resistant GM garlic lines. The transformation system is based on Agrobacterium tumefaciens as a vector, using young callus derived from different callus sources: callus induced from both apical and non-apical root segments of in vitro plantlets, true garlic seeds and bulbils. Two different reporter genes were used in our garlic transformation experiments, namely the gusA gene coding for -glucuronidase and the gfp gene coding for green fluorescent protein. A total of seven independent transformed callus lines derived from different callus sources were obtained. The advantage of the system developed is the short time period needed for completion of the protocol (about 6 months) and the year-round availability of high quality callus from in vitro roots. The highest transformation frequency in a single experiment (1.47%), was obtained using garlic cv. ''Printanor''. Differences existed between cultivars in transformation frequency but were not significant. The same was found for the plasmids used in transforming garlic. Via PCR the presence of the gusA, hpt (hygromycin phosphotransferase) and gfp genes could be demonstrated in putative transformed in vitro plants. Southern hybridization showed that the reporter gene gusA and the selective gene hpt were stably integrated into the garlic genome. After transfer to the greenhouse of in vitro regenerants, transgenic garlic harbouring the gusA gene survived and grew well, whereas the gfp transgenic garlic gradually died under these conditions. Using this protocol transgenic garlic resistant to beet armyworm using the cry1Ca and H04 resistance genes from Bacillus thuringiensis were developed. Via Southern hybridization it was shown that the cry1Ca sequence was stably integrated into the garlic genome. After transfer of the transgenic in vitro garlic plants to the greenhouse, the cry1Ca plants developed normally and grew well to maturity with normal bulbs. However, all transgenic in vitro H04 garlic plants did not survive after transfer to the greenhouse. Transgenic cry1Ca garlic plants proved completely resistant to beet armyworm in a number of in vitro bio-assays. This finding will facilitate the development of new garlic cultivars resistant to beet armyworm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
JournalMolecular Breeding
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • thuringiensis delta-endotoxin
  • bacillus-thuringiensis
  • mediated transformation
  • plant-regeneration
  • reporter gene
  • cepa l.
  • particle bombardment
  • expression
  • dna
  • callus

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