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Plant Cell Rep. 2003 Jun;21(9):865-71. Epub 2003 Mar 7.

Efficiency of transient transformation in tobacco protoplasts is independent of plasmid amount.

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  • 1Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, CNR, via E. Bassini 15, 20133, Milan, Italy.


We describe an optimized protocol for the transient transformation of tobacco protoplasts mediated by polyethylene-glycol (PEG). As expected, the quantitative beta-glucuronidase (Gus) activity driven by pCaMVGus was dependent on the amount of plasmid used. Nevertheless, we demonstrate by an immunodetection method that transformation efficiency did not depend on the amount of plasmid used but on the limitation imposed by cell competence. In fact, we obtained the same percentage of transformed cells (about 60%) using a wide range of plasmid concentrations (0.1-10 microg per test). Finally, we show that, when we used two plasmid types in a mixture at a concentration ranging from 0.1 to 10 microg for each, all transformed cells expressed proteins encoded by both plasmids. Transient expression and co-transformation experiments are routinely used methods and, probably, the major results from this work were assumed by many researchers in this field, but our data experimentally support this assumption.

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