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Tree Physiol. 2013 Jun;33(6):628-39. doi: 10.1093/treephys/tpt038. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated genetic transformation of Salix matsudana Koidz. using mature seeds.

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State Key Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Northeast Forestry University, 26 Hexing Road, Harbin 150040, China.


An Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation method was developed for Salix matsudana Koidz. using mature seeds as starting material. Multiple shoots were induced directly from embryonic shoot apices of germinating seeds. Although thidiazuron, 6-benzylaminopurine and zeatin induced multiple shoot induction with high frequency, zeatin (4.5 μM) was more effective for elongation of shoots and roots. The binary vector pCAMBIA1303, which contained neomycin phosphotransferase as a selectable marker gene and β-glucuronidase as a reporter gene, was used for transformation. Factors affecting transformation efficiency were examined for optimization of the procedure. Up to 35 of 180 seeds regenerated kanamycin-resistant shoots under optimal transformation conditions as follows: seeds were precultured for 4 days, apices of embryonic shoots were removed and infected with A. tumefaciens strain LBA4404 grown to a cell density equivalent (OD600) of 0.6, and then the infected explants were cultivated at 21 °C for 4 days. Storage of seeds at -20 °C for as long as 3 years had no significant effect on the induction of kanamycin-resistant shoots. Using this method, transgenic plants were obtained within ∼5 months with a transformation frequency of 7.2%. Analysis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that 36.4-93.8% of plants from all 13 tested kanamycin-resistant lines were PCR positive. Several 'escapes' were eliminated by a second round of selection. PCR, Southern blot and reverse transcriptase-PCR analyses of selected transgenic individuals 2 years after cutting propagation confirmed the successful generation of stable transformants. Our method, which minimizes the duration of axenic culture, may provide an alternative procedure for transformation of other recalcitrant Salix species.


chimaeric; embryonic shoot apex; mature seed; multiple shoot; willow; woody plant transformation

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