Transformation of a Transposon Construct into Tomato for Functional Genomics Studies

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Virginia Tech


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a member of the Solanaceae family. In this research project tomato, more specifically the M82 cultivar was chosen as a model plant for Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer by cotyledon inoculation. Our objective was to transform tomato with a T-DNA construct bearing a transposon from maize that can be used for mutagenesis when it transposes or moves around the genome of the tomato. The vector used is a two-component in-cis Ac-Ds system which needs a single transformation event. It was proved that it worked in Arabidopsis and rice according to Trijatmiko (2005). The construct consists of the BAR gene conferring resistance to herbicide Basta, hygromycin (HYG) gene conferring resistance to the antibiotic hygromycin and the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene, which are driven by specific plant promoters. The selectable marker genes such as HYG and BAR were used to select the rare transformation events by making the transformed tomato tissue resistant to the toxic chemicals (antibiotic and herbicide) compared to the untransformed tissue in which growth was inhibited. The results described consist of developing a transformation protocol which enabled the production of transgenic tomato lines by the help of the antibiotic augmetin (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid). The transgenic lines were tested through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and herbicide bioassays.



Genetic transformation, functional genomics, expression of genes, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Solanum lycopersicum.