Competence of Immature Maize Embryos for Agrobacterium-Mediated Gene Transfer
Format of Original
American Society of Plant Biologists
Agrobacterium-mediated transfer of viral sequences to plant cells (agroinfection) was applied to study the susceptibility of immature maize embryos to the pathogen. The shoot apical meristem of immature embryos 10 to 20 days after pollination from four different maize genotypes was investigated for competence for agroinfection. There was a direct correlation between different morphological stages of the unwounded immature embryos and their competence for agroinfection. Agroinfection frequency was highest in the embryogenic line A188. All developmental stages tested showed Agrobacterium virulence gene-inducing activity, whereas bacteriocidal substances were produced at stages of the immature embryos competent for agroinfection. The results suggested that Agrobacterium may require differentiated tissue in the maize shoot apical meristem before wounding for successful T-DNA transfer. This requirement for the young maize embryo has implications for the possible use of Agrobacterium for maize transformation.