Transformation of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) with isopentenyltransferase gene via Agrobacterium tumefaciens for post-harvest yellowing retardation

Long Fang O. Chen*, Jia Yuan Hwang, Yee Yung Charng, Chi Wen Sun, Shang Fa Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Transgenic plantlets with a retarding effect on post-harvest yellowing in broccoli have been generated via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of cytokinin synthesizing ipt (isopentenyltransferase) gene. The ipt gene is constructed under the control of senescence-associated gene promoters from Arabidopsis in the forms of pSG529(+) and pSG766A, which were the gifts from Dr R.M. Amasino at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Evidence of transgene integration was confirmed by assays on neomycin phosphotransferase II (NPTII) activity of selection markers, PCR and Southern hybridization. Based on the chlorophyll retention rate (>50%) after 4 days of post-harvest storage at 25 °C, it was found that 31% of transformants exhibited the effect of retarding yellowing in detached leaves, with 16% having the effect on florets and 7.2% on both leaves and florets. RT-PCR revealed that ipt gene expression occurred early on the day of detachment. Factors such as vacuum aid infiltration, plasmid differences, explant types, seedling ages and kanamycin concentrations were also studied. Putative transformation frequencies tended to vary with plasmids and explant types. The advantage of vacuum aid infiltration depended on explant types. The optimal kanamycin concentration should be determined experimentally for each study to avoid the high escape rate of kanamycin selection. Flow cytometric analysis of explant nuclear DNA phases was found to be helpful for selecting suitable explants for transformation and minimizing the polyploid transformants. A reproducible transformation protocol without any pre-culture was established for explants of hypocotyl, cotyledon, and peduncle. Most of the ipt transformants with a retarding effect on yellowing had a chimeric nature but showed little or no serious morphological abnormality in comparison with their parental line. Through proper selection, transformation lines with the capability of retarding post-harvest yellowing in broccoli should be feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-257
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Agrobacteruim-mediated transformation
  • Brassica oleracea L. var. italica
  • Flow cytometric analysis
  • Isopentenyltransferase gene
  • Post-harvest senescence
  • Senescence-associated gene promoter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Plant Science


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