An improved protocol for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)

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An improved protocol for efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of grapevine (Vitis sp.) was developed through modification of cocultivation and subsequent washing procedures. It was determined that Agrobacterium-infected somatic embryos (SE) cocultivated on filter paper exhibited less browning and significantly higher transient GFP and GUS expression than those cultured on agar-solidified medium. Furthermore, such SE, when subjected to a prolonged washing period in liquid medium containing cefotaxime and carbenicillin, followed by another wash in similar medium with kanamycin added, exhibited significantly higher rates of stable transformation compared to previously-described procedures. Transgenic plant recovery was increased 3.5–6 Xs by careful excision of leafy cotyledons from SE that had been induced to germinate on MS medium containing 1 μM of BA. Southern blot analysis revealed the low copy number integration of transgenes in transgenic plants recovered using the improved protocol. These improved cocultivation and plant recovery procedures have been demonstrated to facilitate production of large populations of transgenic plants from V. vinifera ‘Merlot’, ‘Shiraz’ and ‘Thompson Seedless’ as well as Vitis hybrid ‘Seyval Blanc’.

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