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Planta. 2018 Jul;248(1):211-219. doi: 10.1007/s00425-018-2898-6. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

Development of glyphosate-resistant alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) upon transformation with the GR79Ms gene encoding 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase.

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Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100193, China.
Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China.
Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100193, China.


The glyphosate-resistant gene, GR79Ms, was successfully introduced into the genome of alfalfa. The transgenic events may serve as novel germplasm resources in alfalfa breeding. Weed competition can reduce the alfalfa yield, generating new alfalfa germplasm with herbicide resistance is essential. To obtain transgenic alfalfa lines with glyphosate resistance, a new synthetic glyphosate-resistant gene GR79Ms encoding 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) was introduced into alfalfa germplasm by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. In total, 67 transformants were obtained. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed that GR79Ms was successfully inserted into the genome of alfalfa. Reverse transcription-PCR and western blot analyses further demonstrated the expression of GR79Ms and its product, GR79Ms EPSPS. Moreover, two homozygous transgenic lines were developed in the T2 generation by means of molecular-assisted selection. Herbicide tolerance spray tests showed that the transgenic plants T0-GR1, T0-GR2, T0-GR3 and two homozygous lines were able to tolerate fourfold higher commercial usage of glyphosate than non-transgenic plants.


Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation; GR79Ms; Glyphosate tolerance; Molecular analysis; Transgenic alfalfa

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