Transformation of sugarcane using Agrobacterium tumefaciens : final report on CTA027
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A method for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of sugarcane tissues has been developed in this project. This method offers an alternative technique for the introduction of transgenes into sugarcane. In general, Agrobacterium is viewed as the method of choice for the range of plant species where both Agrobacterium and microprojectile-mediated techniques have been applied successfully. A number of transgenic sugarcane plants have been produced in this project using different Agrobacterium vectors, different selection stnitegies, different techniques and the protocol has been published in an international journal. The applicability of the technique to sugarcane cvs Q117, NCo-310, QI24 and QI55 has also been demonstrated. Many experiments were performed to optimise the Agrobacterium transformation methodology for sugarcane with parameters having a significant effect on transformation efficiency being identified. A selection system based on herbicide resistance was implemented to select for the growth of transgenic cells. The GFP system was further developed and facilitated the rapid production of transgenic cell lines and the scoring of transformation experiments. Collaborative work with the BSES has led to the development of new techniques and opportunities, which should result in a very useful industry outcome. Although the development of an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation technique for sugarcane is described here, the real value of the technique will not be realized until the integration patterns, level of gene expression and level of somaclonal variation are determined in the transgenic plants produced.