Abstract

Seeds from wheat were tested for their aptitude to be transformed at early stages of germination by Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which promotes singular integration patterns, entailing lower mutational consequences for the transgenic plant and limited transgene silencing. Seeds were processed at different stages of germination by a cassette containing the GUS reporter gene under the control of a high molecular weight glutenin subunit promoter. Transgene integration and expression into the host organism were followed by PCR and by histological staining. Results showed that the cereals used could be effectively transformed by this method and that the foreign gene behaviour in the progenies was similar to that reported from the standard method, which uses explants and tissue culture. This simplified protocol is easy to use and allows savings in time and reagents. Moreover, it avoids the complex stages of tissue culture and plant regeneration. Because seeds are the main form of planting material for crop production, this technique can be extended to virtually any plant carrying orthodox seeds.