In vitro plant regeneration and transformation studies in millets: current status and future prospects
Microprojectile bombardment mediated genetic transformation parameters have been standardized for seed derived callus of Eleusine coracana. Plasmid pCAMBIA 1381 harboring hygromycin phosphotransferase (hptII) as selectable marker gene and β-glucuronidase (gus A) as reporter gene, was used for the optimization of gene transfer conditions. The transient GUS expression and survival of putative transformants were taken into consideration for the assessment of parameters. Optimum conditions for the microprojectile bombardment mediated genetic transformation of finger millet were 1,100 psi rupture disk pressure with 3 cm distance from rupture disk to macrocarrier and 12 cm microprojectile travel distance. Double bombardment with gold particles of 1.0 μm size provided maximum transient GUS expression and transformation efficiency. Osmotic treatment of callus with 0.4 M sorbitol enhanced efficiency of particle bombardment mediated genetic transformation. Regenerative calli were bombarded at optimum conditions of bombardment and placed on regeneration medium with hygromycin to obtain transformed plants. The integration of hptII and gus A genes was confirmed with PCR amplification of 684 and 634 bp sizes of the bands respectively from putative transformants and Southern blot hybridization using PCR amplified DIG labeled hptII gene as probe. PCR analysis with hptII gene specific primers indicated the presence of transgene in T1 generation plants. Thus a successful genetic transformation system was developed using particle bombardment in E. coracana with 45.3% transformation efficiency. The protocol will be helpful for the introgression of desired genes into E. coracana.