Biological functions of antioxidants in plant transformation

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Browning and necrosis of transformed cells/tissues, and difficulty to regenerate transgenic plants from the transformed cells/tissues (recalcitrance) are common in Agrobacterium-mediated transformation process in many plant species. In addition, most crop transformation methods that use NPTII selection produce a significant number of nontransgenic shoots, called “shoot escapes” even under stringent selection conditions. These common problems of plant transformation, (browning and necrosis of transformed cells/tissues, recalcitrance, and the occurrence of shoot escapes) severely reduces transformation efficiency. Recent research indicates that reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide radical (O-2), the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), the hydroxyl radical (OH′), and the peroxyl radical (RO'2) may be playing an important role in tissue browning and necrosis during transformation. This review examines the role of ROS in in vitro recalcitrance and genetic transformation and the opportunities to improve transformation efficiency using antioxidants.

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