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Journal of microbiological methods

Cinnamic acid, coumarin and vanillin: Alternative phenolic compounds for efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the unicellular green alga, Nannochloropsis sp.


PMID 21256888

Abstract

The use of acetosyringone in Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer into plant hosts has been favored for the past few decades. The influence of other phenolic compounds and their effectiveness in Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation systems has been neglected. In this study, the efficacy of four phenolic compounds on Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the unicellular green alga Nannochloropsis sp. (Strain UMT-M3) was assessed by using β-glucuronidase (GUS) assay. We found that cinnamic acid, vanillin and coumarin produced higher percentages of GUS positive cells as compared to acetosyringone. These results also show that the presence of methoxy group in the phenolic compounds may not be necessary for Agrobacterium vir gene induction and receptor binding as suggested by previous studies. These findings provide possible alternative Agrobacterium vir gene inducers that are more potent as compared to the commonly used acetosyringone in achieving high efficiency of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in microalgae and possibly for other plants.