Stable chloroplast transformation in potato: use of green fluorescent protein as a plastid marker


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We describe here the development of a reproducible plastid transformation system for potato and regeneration of plants with uniformly transformed plastids. Two distinct tobacco-specific plastid vectors, pZS197 (Prrn/aadA/TpsbA) and pMON30125 (Prrn/GFP/Trps16::PpsbA/aadA/TpsbA), designed for integration into the large single copy and inverted repeat regions of the plastid genome, respectively, were bombarded into leaf explants of potato line FL1607. A total of three transgenic lines were selected out of 46 plates bombarded with pZS197 and three transgenic lines out of 104 plates were obtained with pMON30125. Development of a high frequency leaf-based regenera- tion system, a stringent selection scheme and optimization of biolistic transformation protocol were critical for recovery of plastid transformants. Plastid-expressed green fluorescent protein was used as a visual marker for identification of plastid transformants at the early stage of selection and shoot regeneration. The establishment of a plastid transformation system in potato, which has several advantages over routinely used nuclear transformation, offers new possibilities for genetic improvement of this crop.