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Plant Physiol. 2013 May;162(1):145-56. doi: 10.1104/pp.113.213876. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

An active ac/ds transposon system for activation tagging in tomato cultivar m82 using clonal propagation.

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Department of Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA.


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a model organism for Solanaceae in both molecular and agronomic research. This project utilized Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation and the transposon-tagging construct Activator (Ac)/Dissociator (Ds)-ATag-Bar_gosGFP to produce activation-tagged and knockout mutants in the processing tomato cultivar M82. The construct carried hygromycin resistance (hyg), green fluorescent protein (GFP), and the transposase (TPase) of maize (Zea mays) Activator major transcript X054214.1 on the stable Ac element, along with a 35S enhancer tetramer and glufosinate herbicide resistance (BAR) on the mobile Ds-ATag element. An in vitro propagation strategy was used to produce a population of 25 T0 plants from a single transformed plant regenerated in tissue culture. A T1 population of 11,000 selfed and cv M82 backcrossed progeny was produced from the functional T0 line. This population was screened using glufosinate herbicide, hygromycin leaf painting, and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Insertion sites of transposed Ds-ATag elements were identified through thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR, and resulting product sequences were aligned to the recently published tomato genome. A population of 509 independent, Ds-only transposant lines spanning all 12 tomato chromosomes has been developed. Insertion site analysis demonstrated that more than 80% of these lines harbored Ds insertions conducive to activation tagging. The capacity of the Ds-ATag element to alter transcription was verified by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR in two mutant lines. The transposon-tagged lines have been immortalized in seed stocks and can be accessed through an online database, providing a unique resource for tomato breeding and analysis of gene function in the background of a commercial tomato cultivar.

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