Exine-detached pollen of Nicotiana tabacum as an electroporation target for gene transfer

Hua Zhong Shi, Jin Wang, Hong Yuan Yang, Chang Zhou, Zheng Hua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In developing alternative systems for plant transformation the authors investigated the use of male gametophyte as the foreign gene receptor. However, delivery of foreign DNA into pollen is difficult because of the existence of a thick exine, therefore a new experimental system was developed using exine-detached pollen (EDP) of Nicotiana tabacum as an electroporation target which was also compared with germinating pollen (GP) and pollen grains (P). A transient GUS expression assay was conducted to analyze the effects of different electroporation conditions and promoter activity. The pollen-specific promoter Zm13 from Zea mays mediated high level of GUS gene expression but CaMV 35S only had very low activity in both EDP and GP. The optimal field strength for gene transfer was obtained at 750 V/cm for EDP and 1250 V/cm for GP when the time constant of pulse was 13 ms. The GUS activity in EDP had a 5-fold increase as compared with GP and P respectively. The level of GUS gene expression was slightly increased when adding 10% PEG into the electroporation buffer. This result indicates that pollen deprived of exine responds much better to foreign gene transfer than the previously used intact pollen grains and may be a better vector to introduce, via pollen tube, genes into the egg cell and offsprings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-630
Number of pages5
JournalActa Botanica Sinica
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1996


  • Electroporation
  • Exine-detached pollen
  • Nicotiana tabacum
  • Transformation


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