Establishment of embryogenic cell suspension cultures and Agrobacterium -mediated transformation in an important Cavendish banana cv Robusta AAA
Antara Ghosh; T.R.G.napathi; Pravendra Nath; V.A.B.pat
Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 97(2): 131-139
Establishment of an efficient protocol for regeneration and genetic transformation is required in banana for the incorporation of useful traits. Therefore an efficient method has been developed for somatic embryogenesis, plant regeneration and transformation of Cavendish banana cultivar Robusta (AAA). Embryogenic cell suspension culture (ECS) was established using immature male flowers. Percentage appearance of embryogenic callus and distinct globular embryos was 10.3 and 11.1, respectively. ECS obtained was cocultivated under different cocultivation conditions with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105 harboring pCAMBIA 1301 plant expression vector. Up to 30 transgenic plants/50mg settled cell volume (SCV) was obtained with cocultivation in semisolid medium whereas no transgenics could be obtained with parallel experiments carried out in liquid medium. Histochemical GUS assay in different tissues of putatively transformed plants demonstrated expression of uidA gene. Among the putatively transformed plants obtained, a set of 4 were confirmed by PCR analysis and stable integration of the transgene by Southern analysis. GUS specific activity measured by a MUG (4-methylumbelliferyl--d-glucuronide) based flourometric assay revealed increase in transient GUS expression in semisolid as well as liquid cocultivation with centrifugation. This is the first report showing somatic embryogenesis and Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation using embryogenic cell suspension cultures in an important Cavendish banana cultivar Robusta. The present protocol will make possible agronomic improvement of this important commercially grown cultivar by introduction of disease resistance characteristics and antisense-mediated delayed fruit ripening strategies. Further, it will also assist in functional characterization of new gene or promoter elements isolated from this or other cultivars of banana.