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Transformation of Melon (Cucumis melo L.) and Expression from the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S Promoter in Transgenic Melon Plants


We have established a regeneration protocol for melon (Cucumis melo L.), using cotyledons as explants, in which the overall regeneration frequency reached more than 90 percent, and combined this protocol with Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation to produce transgenic melon plants. Cotyledon explants were coculti-vated with A. tumefaciens carrying a disarmed Ti plasmid in which a dihydrofo-late reductase (DHFR) coding sequence and a β-glucuronidase (GUS) coding sequence were separately fused to the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) 35S promoter. A second strain carried a plasmid in which the neomycin phosphotransfer-ase II (NPTII) and GUS coding sequences were fused to a bidirectional CaMV 35S promoter. Under optimal conditions, the highest transformation frequency was approximately 6 percent. The transgenic melon plants were normal in morphology and fertile. Segregation analysis of R1 seedlings showed that the transgenes were inherited in a Mendelian manner. The CaMV 35S promoter was found to be active in most but not all tissues of transgenic melon plants, and the expression pattern conferred by the promoter changed during plant development.

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