Age-dependent transformation frequency in elite wheat varieties

Gabriela M. Pastori, Mark D. Wilkinson, Sue H. Steele, Caroline A. Sparks, Huw D. Jones, Martin A. J. Parry

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69 Citations (SciVal)


Wheat is a major world crop and as such is a primary target for improvement of agronomic characteristics via genetic engineering. Optimization of transformation is essential in order to overcome the relatively low transformation frequencies encountered with wheat. Transformation of elite wheat varieties is not always successful due to variability in regeneration and transformation frequencies between varieties. In this work, two elite wheat varieties with a relatively high embryogenic capacity were transformed by particle bombardment. A strong correlation between transformation frequency and the age of wheat donor plants was observed in both varieties. The mean transformation frequency rose from 0.7% to 5% when using immature embryos from old and young donor plants, respectively. This was observed in both varieties, the best bombardments achieving up to 7.3% frequency. Using explants at an optimal developmental stage from donor plants grown under environmentally‐controlled conditions has improved the reproducibility of transformation efficiency of elite wheat varieties and leads to the production of apparently phenotypically normal, fertile, transgenic plants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-863
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number357
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • bar gene
  • elite wheat varieties
  • transformation frequency
  • uidA gene
  • wheat transformation


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