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American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 415 - 421

Use of Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction for Determining Copy Numbers of Transgenes in Lesquerella fendleri

Grace Qianhong Chen and Jiann-Tsyh Lin    

Abstract: Problem statement: In transgenic plants, the number of transgene copies could greatly influence the level of expression and genetic stability of the target gene, thus it is important to develop an efficient method for accurate estimation of transgene copies. The quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) technique is becoming more efficient nowadays to determine copy numbers of transgenes in transgenic plants, being used here, for the first time in quantifying copy numbers of transgenes in Lesquerella fendleri. Approach: The system utilized a known one copy gene, LfKCS4/5, from L. fendleri as an endogenous calibrator and the threshold Crossing point (Ct) measured by Applied Biosystem 7500 system to calculate the copy numbers of transgenes in primary transgenic lines (T0 generation). Results: The qPCR condition was optimized and each primer set had a PCR efficiency of 0.99 or 1.01. Our data demonstrated unambiguous 2-fold discrimination of the copy number of ß-glucuronidase gene (gusA) and hygromycine phosphotransferase II (hptII) genes in 12 T0 lines. Most of the lines contained one or two copies of each gene. Eight out of 12 samples (66.7%) showed more copies of gusA gene than that of hptII gene, suggesting rearrangements of the Transferred (T)-DNA. Possible modifications of the T-DNA cassette in L. fendleri are discussed based on main models of T-DNA integration in the plant genome. Conclusion: The qPCR described in this study is an efficient method and it is particularly useful in identification and selection of transgenic plants with desirable copy numbers at early stage.

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