BMC plant biology

Analysis of T-DNA integration and generative segregation in transgenic winter triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack).

PMID 23006412


While the genetic transformation of the major cereal crops has become relatively routine, to date only a few reports were published on transgenic triticale, and robust data on T-DNA integration and segregation have not been available in this species. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of stable transgenic winter triticale cv. Bogo carrying the selectable marker gene HYGROMYCIN PHOSPHOTRANSFERASE (HPT) and a synthetic green fluorescent protein gene (gfp). Progeny of four independent transgenic plants were comprehensively investigated with regard to the number of integrated T-DNA copies, the number of plant genomic integration loci, the integrity and functionality of individual T-DNA copies, as well as the segregation of transgenes in T1 and T2 generations, which also enabled us to identify homozygous transgenic lines. The truncation of some integrated T-DNAs at their left end along with the occurrence of independent segregation of multiple T-DNAs unintendedly resulted in a single-copy segregant that is selectable marker-free and homozygous for the gfp gene. The heritable expression of gfp driven by the maize UBI-1 promoter was demonstrated by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The used transformation method is a valuable tool for the genetic engineering of triticale. Here we show that comprehensive molecular analyses are required for the correct interpretation of phenotypic data collected from the transgenic plants.