PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL-PARAMETERS FOR ELECTROPORATION-MEDIATED GENE DELIVERY INTO RICE PROTOPLASTS
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Transformation of cereal protoplasts has been reported using several methods; however, the efficiencies of transformations are still very low. We have evaluated a number of parameters that influence electroporation-mediated DNA uptake and have also compared the efficiency of transient GUS activity and stable transformation obtained using an optimized electroporation method with that of the PEG method. The electroporation conditions tested were ionic composition of buffer, ionic strength, resistivity of buffer, type of anions, voltage, and capacitance. Protoplasts isolated from suspension cultures derived from immature embryos of rice (cvs Radon and IR-54) were used for this study. Stable transformation or transient GUS expression experiments were carried out using a plasmid construct containing the CaMV 35S promoter driving the bar gene and a rice actin promoter driving the gus A (uid A) gene (pAG35bar). Electroporation under optimized conditions resulted in about 13-fold higher GUS activities compared to the PEG method. Protoplast survival following optimized electroporation conditions was 55-60%, compared to 35-40% with the PEG treatment. Protoplasts isolated from a suspension culture at different ages gave substantially different levels of transient GUS expression following electroporation-mediated DNA uptake. In contrast, the age of the suspension culture did not influence PEG-mediated DNA uptake and transient GUS activities, which remained low throughout the culture period examined (21 months). Putatively transformed calluses were selected after three to four weeks on medium containing phosphinothricin as the selection agent. The transformation frequencies ranged from 6.210-5 to 5.410-4 with the electroporation method compared to 1.310-5 to 5.310-5 with the PEG method. Southern blot analysis of PPT-resistant calluses obtained by the electroporation-mediated transformation showed simple intergration patterns of integrated DNA in most of the transformants. 1995 Chapman & Hall.