Effect of leaf incubation temperature profiles onagrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transient expression

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Abstract

Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transient expression is known to be highly dependent on incubation temperature. Compared with early studies that were conducted at constant temperature, we examined the effect of variable leaf incubation temperature on transient expression. As a model system, synthetic endoglucanase (E1) and endoxylanase (Xyn10A) genes were transiently expressed in detached whole sunflower leaves via vacuum infiltration for biofuel applications. We found that the kinetics of transient expression strongly depended on timing of the temperature change as well as leaf incubation temperature. Surprisingly, we found that high incubation temperature (27–30 °C) which is suboptimal for T-DNA transfer, significantly enhanced transient expression if the high temperature was applied during the late phase (Day 3–6) of leaf incubation whereas incubation temperature in a range of 20–25 °C for an early phase (Day 0–2) resulted in higher production. On the basis of these results, we propose that transient expression is governed by both T-DNA transfer and protein synthesis in plant cells that have different temperature dependent kinetics. Because the phases were separated in time and had different optimal temperatures, we were then able to develop a novel two phase optimization strategy for leaf incubation temperature. Applying the time-varying temperature profile, we were able to increase the protein accumulation by fivefold compared with the control at a constant temperature of 20 °C. From our knowledge, this is the first report illustrating the effect of variable temperature profiling for improved transient expression.

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