Author(s): Raghuwanshi A, Birch RG
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Abstract Sweet sorghum has substantial potential as a biofuel feedstock, with advantages in some environments over alternatives such as sugarcane or maize. Gene technologies are likely to be important to achieve yields sufficient for food, fuel and fibre production from available global croplands, but sorghum has proven difficult to transform. Tissue culture recalcitrance and poor reproducibility of transformation protocols remain major challenges for grain sorghum, and there has been no reported success for sweet sorghum. Here we describe a repeatable transformation system for sweet sorghum, based on (1) optimized tissue culture conditions for embryogenic callus production with >90\% regenerability in 12-week-old calli, and (2) an effective selection regimen for hygromycin resistance conferred by a Ubi-hpt transgene following particle bombardment. Using this method, we have produced sixteen independent transgenic lines from multiple batches at an overall efficiency of 0.09\% transformants per excised immature embryo. Co-expression frequency of a non-selected luciferase reporter was 62.5\%. Transgene integration and expression were confirmed in T(0) and T(1) plants by Southern analysis and luciferase assays. This success using the major international sweet sorghum cultivar Ramada provides a foundation for molecular improvement of sweet sorghum through the use of transgenes. Factors likely to be important for success with other sweet sorghum cultivars are identified.
This article was published in Plant Cell Rep
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering