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Transformation of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus cv. Zaojia) using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105 containing the plasmid pRD400 carrying Pti4 gene was studied in this work. Proximal cotyledons as explants were pre-cultivated for two day in the dark and it was found that the best condition for transformation of watermelon was the use of bacteria at a concentration of OD600 0.3, inoculation for 10 min and 72 h of co-cultivation. Kanamycin as a selective agent in different concentration (75, 100 and 125 mg/l) was tested. Transformed explants on medium supplemented with 100 mg/l kanamycin received a higher efficiency of shoots with transgenic DNA (9.17%). Using specific primer to Pti4 gene, PCR product with a size of 680 bp was amplified when the genomic DNA extracted from the transformants were used as templates. A total of 148 plants with percentage 10.28% showed positive results using PCR analysis and subsequently all were regenerated into whole plants.
Key words: Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus Thumb), transgenic, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, in vitro.