PubMed | 1 Nomads UAB and 2 Nomad Bioscience GmbH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular plant-microbe interactions : MPMI | Year: 2015
Agrotransfection with viral vectors is an effective solution for the transient production of valuable proteins in plants grown in contained facilities. Transfection methods suitable for field applications are desirable for the production of high-volume products and for the transient molecular reprogramming of plants. The use of genetically modified (GM) Agrobacterium strains for plant transfections faces substantial biosafety issues. The environmental biosafety of GM Agrobacterium strains could be improved by regulating their T-DNA transfer via chemically inducible expression of virE2, one of the essential Agrobacterium virulence genes. In order to identify strong and stringently regulated promoters in Agrobacterium strains, we evaluated isopropyl--d-thiogalactoside-inducible promoters Plac, Ptac, PT7/lacO, and PT5/lacOlacO and cumic acid-inducible promoters PlacUV5/CuO, Ptac/CuO, PT5/CuO, and PvirE/CuO. Nicotiana benthamiana plants were transfected with a virE2-deficient A. tumefaciens strain containing transient expression vectors harboring inducible virE2 expression cassettes and containing a marker green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene in their T-DNA region. Evaluation of T-DNA transfer was achieved by counting GFP expression foci on plant leaves. The virE2 expression from cumic acid-induced promoters resulted in 47 to 72% of wild-type T-DNA transfer. Here, we present efficient and tightly regulated promoters for gene expression in A. tumefaciens and a novel approach to address environmental biosafety concerns in agrobiotechnology.