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Title: Stable expression of a bacterial GUS gene in vegetatively propagated transgenic pear lines

item SUN, QINGRONG - Shandong Agricultural University
item SUN, HONGYAN - Shandong Agricultural University
item Zhao, Yan
item Hammond, Rosemarie
item Davis, Robert

Submitted to: Plant Physiology Communications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Sun, Q., Sun, H., Zhao, Y., Hammond, R., Davis, R.E. 2008. Stable expression of a bacterial GUS gene in vegetatively propagated transgenic pear lines. PLANT PHYSIOLOGY COMMUNICATIONS. 44:465-468.

Interpretive Summary: Rich in fibers, minerals, and vitamins, pear is a nutrient-dense fruit with high customer demand. One of the limiting factors that affects pear production is diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. While recent technological advances have made it possible to introduce disease-resistance traits into crops by genetic engineering (artificial alteration of a crop’s genetic makeup), genetic engineering of pear is still in its earliest stage of development. The purpose of the current study was to assess the stability of an artificially introduced reporter gene in pear plants. Our results demonstrated that the foreign gene can be stably maintained and expressed in recipient pear plants even after several generations of propagation under laboratory conditions. The progress in this study contributes to enhanced food security. The findings will be of great interest to research scientists and professionals in plant biotechnology and to regulatory agencies that set guidelines for conducting risk assessment of genetically modified organisms.

Technical Abstract: The stability of a transgene in the genomes of in vitro propagated transgenic pear lines was assessed. A bacterial GUS reporter gene under the control of an Arabidopsis sucrose transporter gene promoter was introduced into pear cultivar ‘Old Home’ through Agrobacterium-mediated leaf-explant transformation. Independent transgenic lines were regenerated on selective media containing 10 mg/L kanamycin. The initial transgenic plants (T1) were vegetatively propagated in vitro on a kanamycin-containing regeneration medium. Leaf explants from the propagated transgenic lines were used to examine the presence and expression of the introduced reporter gene. A positive GUS histochemical stain was consistently observed in all samples tested, suggesting stable integration and expression of the transgene in the genomes of the transgenic pear lines.