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Mol Cells. 2003 Aug 31;16(1):60-6.

Herbicide resistance of tobacco chloroplasts expressing the bar gene.

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  • 1Basic Sciences Research Institute, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju 561-756, Korea.


The chloroplast transformation system has the potential advantages of maternal inheritance and high-level expression of heterologous genes. We studied the expression of the bar gene in tobacco chloroplasts to test these ideas. The bar gene conferring tolerance to the herbicide phosphinothricin (PPT) encodes phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT). It was introduced into the chloroplast genome at a targeted site by homologous recombination. Transplastomic plantlets were selected in medium supplemented with PPT (up to 50 mg l(-1)). The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot analysis confirmed that bar had been inserted at the specified site in the chloroplast genome. The transplastomic plants transferred to a greenhouse proved to be resistant to 2% PPT. Reciprocal crosses between wild type and transplastomic plants confirmed maternal inheritance of the PPT resistance and high levels of PAT activity in the transplastomic plants were confirmed by assays of PAT and of ammonium evolution. The technology demonstrated here could perhaps be usefully transferred to other crop species.

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