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Marker-Free Transgenic Plants through Genetically Programmed Auto-Excision

Dimitri Verweire, Kristof Verleyen, Sylvie De Buck, Martine Claeys and Geert Angenon
Plant Physiology
Vol. 145, No. 4 (Dec., 2007), pp. 1220-1231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40065764
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Marker-Free Transgenic Plants through Genetically Programmed Auto-Excision
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Abstract

We present here a vector system to obtain homozygous marker-free transgenic plants without the need of extra handling and within the same time frame as compared to transformation methods in which the marker is not removed. By introducing a germline-specific auto-excision vector containing a cre recombinase gene under the control of a germline-specific promoter, transgenic plants become genetically programmed to lose the marker when its presence is no longer required (i.e. after the initial selection of primary transformants). Using promoters with different germline functionality, two modules of this genetic program were developed. In the first module, the promoter, placed upstream of the cre gene, confers CRE functionality in both the male and the female germline or in the common germline (e.g. floral meristem cells). In the second module, a promoter conferring single germline-specific CRE functionality was introduced upstream of the cre gene. Promoter sequences used in this work are derived from the APETALA1 and SOLO DANCERS genes from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) Columbia-0 conferring common germline and single germline functionality, respectively. Introduction of the genetic program did not reduce transformation efficiency. Marker-free homozygous progeny plants were efficiently obtained, regardless of which promoter was used. In addition, simplification of complex transgene loci was observed.

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