Send to

Choose Destination
Plant Physiol. 2004 May;135(1):39-46.

High-frequency transformation of undeveloped plastids in tobacco suspension cells.

Author information

Monsanto Company, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017, USA.


Although leaf chloroplast transformation technology was developed more than a decade ago, no reports exist of stable transformation of undeveloped plastids or other specialized plastid types, such as proplastids, etioplasts, or amyloplasts. In this work we report development of a dark-grown tobacco suspension cell model system to investigate the transformation potential of undeveloped plastids. Electron microscope analysis confirmed that the suspension cells carry plastids that are significantly smaller (approximately 50-fold less in volume) and have a very different subcellular localization and developmental state than leaf cell chloroplasts. Using antibiotic selection in the light, we demonstrated that both plastid and nuclear transformation of these cell suspensions is efficient and reproducible, with plastid transformation frequency at least equal to that of leaf chloroplast transformation. Homoplasmic plastid transformants are readily obtained in cell colonies, or in regenerated plants, providing a more consistent and versatile model than the leaf transformation system. Because of the uniformity of the cell suspension model, we could further show that growth rate, selection scheme, particle size, and DNA amount influence the frequency of transformation. Our results indicate that the rate-limiting steps for nuclear and plastid transformation are different, and each must be optimized separately. The suspension cell system will be useful as a model for understanding transformation in those plant species that utilize dark-grown embryogenic cultures and for characterizing the steps that lead to homoplasmic plastid transformation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center