Agrobacterium-tumefaciens-mediated transformation ofHelminthosporium turcicum, the maize leaf-blight fungus

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Agrobacterium tumefaciens has the ability to transfer its T-DNA to plants, yeast, filamentous fungi, and human cells and integrate it into their genome. Conidia of the maize pathogen Helminthosporium turcicum were transformed to hygromycin B resistance by a Agrobacterium- tumefaciens-mediated transformation system using a binary plasmid vector containing the hygromycin B phosphotransferase (hph) and the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) genes controlled by the gpd promoter from Agaricus bisporus and the CaMV 35S terminator. Agrobacterium- tumefaciens-mediated transformation yielded stable transformants capable of growing on increased concentrations of hygromycin B. The presence of hph in the transformants was confirmed by PCR, and integration of the T-DNA at random sites in the genome was demonstrated by Southern blot analysis. Agrobacterium- tumefaciens-mediated transformation of Helminthosporium turcicum provides an opportunity for advancing studies of the molecular genetics of the fungus and of the molecular basis of its pathogenicity on maize.

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