Ectopic expression of two MADS box genes from orchid (Oncidium Gower Ramsey) and lily (Lilium longiflorum) alters flower transition and formation in Eustoma grandiflorum

Muthu Thiruvengadam, Chang-Hsien Yang
Plant Cell Reports 2009, 28 (10): 1463-73
Lisianthus [Eustoma grandiflorum (Raf.) Shinn] is a popular cut flower crop throughout the world, and the demand for this plant for cut flowers and potted plants has been increasing worldwide. Recent advances in genetic engineering have enabled the transformation and regeneration of plants to become a powerful tool for improvement of lisianthus. We have established a highly efficient plant regeneration system and Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of E. grandiflorum. The greatest shoot regeneration frequency and number of shoot buds per explant are observed on media supplemented with 6-Benzylaminopurine (BAP) and alpha-Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). We report an efficient plant regeneration system using leaf explants via organogenesis with high efficiency of transgenic plants (15%) in culture of 11 weeks' duration. Further ectopic expression of two MADS box genes, LMADS1-M from lily (Lilium longiflorum) and OMADS1 from orchid (Oncidium Gower Ramsey), was performed in E. grandiflorum. Conversion of second whorl petals into sepal-like structures and alteration of third whorl stamen formation were observed in the transgenic E. grandiflorum plants ectopically expressing 35S::LMADS1-M. 35S::OMADS1 transgenic E. grandiflorum plants flowered significantly earlier than non-transgenic plants. This is the first report on the ectopic expression of two MADS box genes in E. grandiflorum using a simple and highly efficient gene transfer protocol. Our results reveal the potential for floral modification in E. grandiflorum through genetic transformation.

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