Culturing of immature inflorescences and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of foxtail millet (Setaria italica)
In previous reports, we developed an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system for foxtail millet. Here, we report optimization of the system through improvement of the regeneration system efficiency and optimization of conditions for gene delivery. Immature inflorescences explants of foxtail millet cv. Jigu 11 varying in length (0.5 to 1.0, 1.1 to 1.5, 1.6 to 2.0 and >2.0 cm) were cultured on modified MS medium for callus induction and regeneration. The highest embryogenic callus-formation efficiency (90.72%) was achieved with 0.5 to 1.0 cm long inflorescences and 25 days old calli induced from 0.5 to 1.0 cm long immature inflorescences gave rise to the highest differentiation frequency (90.93%). In addition, factors affecting T-DNA delivery were examined by transient β-glucuronidase (GUS) expression. Calli induced from younger explants (0.5 to 1.0 cm immature inflorescences) were optimal. Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 performed significantly better than EHA105. Co-cultivation at 22°C with 0.15 g/l dithiothreitol (DTT) in the infection solution and co-cultivation medium led to higher GUS transient expression efficiency than with other treatments. Using this optimized procedure, the lysine-rich protein encoding gene SBgLR from potato was transformed into foxtail millet cv. Jigu 11 with 5.5% transformation efficiency. The procedure described here will be useful for genetic improvement of foxtail millet.
Key words: Foxtail millet, regeneration, Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, temperature, dithiothreitol (DTT).