Agrobacterium Mediated Genetic Transformation of Cereals

Genetic transformation mediated by A. tumefaciens in cereal crops was confirmed first in rice. Chan et al.1 produced transgenic rice plants by inoculating immature embryos with A. tumefaciens. They proved the inheritance of the transferred DNA to the progeny by Southern blot analysis, although they analyzed the progeny of only one plant. Hiei et al2 subsequently reported a method for efficient production of a number of transgenic rice plants from calluses of japonica cultivars that had been cocultivated with A. tumefaciens. They also clearly showed the large scale inheritance of transgenes in the progeny.

In addition to these successful results in rice, the efficient transformation of maize was shown by Ishida et al.3 This achievement was then followed by successful reports in barley4 and wheat.5 Now Agrobacterium-mediated cereal transformation is recognized as an unquestionable fact. Moreover, it is becoming the preferred method, at least in rice and maize.

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