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Plant Biotechnol J. 2005 Nov;3(6):591-9.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated sorghum transformation using a mannose selection system.

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  • 1Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506-5501, USA.


A dual-marker plasmid containing the selectable marker gene, manA, and the reporter gene, sgfp, was used to transform immature sorghum embryos by employing an Agrobacterium-mediated system. Both genes were under the control of the ubi1 promoter in a binary vector pPZP201. The Escherichia coli phosphomannose isomerase (PMI) gene, pmi, was used as the selectable marker gene and mannose was used as the selective agent. The sgfp gene encoding green fluorescence protein (GFP) was the reporter gene and served as a visual screening marker. A total of 167 transgenic plants were obtained from nine different embryogenic callus lines grown on a selection medium containing 1%-2% mannose. Embryoids and shoots regenerated via embryogenesis, that showed strong GFP fluorescence, were selected from two sorghum genotypes: C401, an inbred line, and Pioneer 8505, a commercial hybrid. The GFP accumulation in transgenic plants was observed with a dissecting stereomicroscope. The integration and expression of the manA gene was confirmed by Southern blot and Western blot analyses, and the feasibility of manA selection was demonstrated by the chlorophenol red (CPR) assay. Our results indicated that transgenes segregated in the Mendelian fashion in the T1 generation. The conversion of mannose to a metabolizable fructose carbon source is beneficial to plants. In addition, except in soybean and a few legumes, no endogenous PMI activity has been detected in plant species, indicating that PMI is useful in the transformation of sorghum. In addition, PMI has no sequence homology to known allergens. Optimization of this selection system for sorghum transformation provides an efficient way to produce transgenic plants without using antibiotic or herbicidal agents as selectable markers, and our results showed that the transformation efficiency reached 2.88% for Pioneer 8505 and 3.30% for C401, both values higher than in previously published reports.

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