Assessment of ptxD gene as an alternative selectable marker for Agrobacterium-mediated maize transformation

Hartinio N. Nahampun, Damar López-Arredondo, Xing Xu, Luis Herrera-Estrella, Kan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Key message: Bacterial phosphite oxidoreductase gene and chemical phosphite can be used as a selection system forAgrobacterium-mediated maize transformation. Abstract: Application of phosphite (Phi) on plants can interfere the plant metabolic system leading to stunted growth and lethality. On the other hand, ectopic expression of the ptxD gene in tobacco and Arabidopsis allowed plants to grow in media with Phi as the sole phosphorous source. The phosphite oxidoreductase (PTXD) enzyme catalyzes the conversion of Phi into phosphate (Pi) that can then be metabolized by plants and utilized as their essential phosphorous source. Here we assess an alternative selectable marker based on a bacterial ptxD gene for Agrobacterium-mediated maize transformation. We compared the transformation frequencies of maize using either the ptxD/Phi selection system or a standard herbicide bar/bialaphos selection system. Two maize genotypes, a transformation amenable hybrid Hi II and an inbred B104, were tested. Transgene presence, insertion copy numbers, and ptxD transcript levels were analyzed and compared. This work demonstrates that the ptxD/Phi selection system can be used for Agrobacterium-mediated maize transformation of both type I and type II callus culture and achieve a comparable frequency as that of the herbicide bar/bialaphos selection system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1132
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Cell Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Agrobacterium-mediated transformation
  • Maize
  • Phosphite
  • Phosphite oxidoreductase
  • ptxD gene


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