Despite intensive efforts, a reproducible and reliable method for transformation of sugarbeet plants is still lacking. Having examined several explants, we found that cells around the main vein of leaves of plantlets reared from tissue-cultured apical meristems are sufficiently competent for transformation and subsequent regeneration. A transformation protocol was designed by evaluating alterations in several parameters such as plant genotype, Agrobacterium strain, antibiotics, darkness and duration of co-culture period. An average transformation rate of 6.2% transformed shoots per explant was achieved as judged by Southern blotting. Consistent inactivation of reporter genes was correlated to multiple copies of transgenes present in some transformants. The necessary steps for rooting and planting of transformed shoots were also established.
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Vol. 41 • No. 1