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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #234899

Title: Using Peat Pellets in Liquid Media to Root Sunflower Tissue Culture Plants

item McMahan, Colleen
item Whalen, Maureen
item Dong, Niu
item Wong, Stephanie

Submitted to: Proceedings Assoc for Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2007
Publication Date: 11/26/2007
Citation: Pearson, C.H., Cornish, K., Mcmahan, C.M., Whalen, M.C., Rath, D., Dong, N., Wong, S.R. 2007. Using Peat Pellets in Liquid Media to Root Sunflower Tissue Culture Plants. Proceedings Assoc for Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) Annual Meeting. In: Issues in New Crops and New Uses, Editors, Janick, J. and Whipkey, A. Alexandria, Virginia, American Society for Horticultural Science Press. p. 78-81.

Interpretive Summary: Natural rubber is an irreplaceable raw material and constitutes about 45% of the total amount of both natural and synthetic rubber used. Currently, nearly all commercial natural rubber comes from a single species, the Brazilian rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) and the United States is almost completely dependent on imports from developing countries. Leaves of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) produce rubber and researchers have postulated there is genetic potential for increasing the rubber content of cultivated H. annuus. We developed a reliable method for regenerating transformed sunflower tissue and were able to insert a gene into sunflower that in involved in rubber biosynthesis. Evaluation of changed in rubber production is underway.

Technical Abstract: Traditional plant breeding is often limited by the genetic diversity within a species. The use of biotechnology allows introducing into a plant, specific traits that come from the same or another plant species. In this paper, we focus on tissue culture of sunflower (Helianthus annus L., Asteraceae), particularly related to rooting transgenic sunflower plantlets. Prior to 1985 there had only been four reports of successful regeneration of sunflower plants in tissue culture. Although this report is more than 20 years old, sunflower continues to be a challenging species in tissue culture including rooting. The objective of our study was to compare agar and liquid media for rooting transgenic sunflower plantlets. Sunflower plantlets grown in peat pellets are less likely to become vitrified and more likely to develop to maturity.