Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Production of Transgenic Rice (Oryza Sativa L.) Plants from Agronomically Important Indica and Japonica Varieties via Electric Discharge Particle Acceleration of Exogenous DNA into Immature Zygotic Embryos


We have recovered transgenic rice plants from a number of commercially important cultivars, including until now recalcitrant Indica varieties, using electric discharge particle acceleration. Immature embryos from greenhouse–grown plants were bombarded with gold particles carrying DNA, and transgenic plants were recovered following a simple culture protocol. Mendelian segregation of foreign genes was observed in R1 progeny and stable integration was demonstrated by Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA isolated from progeny plants. Alternative transformation protocols that are dependent on the development of protoplast and suspension culture systems are no longer necessary as we have shown that a wide variety of diverse cultivars can be transformed. Transgenic plants expressing agronomically useful traits such as herbicide resistance have been obtained and are currently undergoing further evaluation. This report also demonstrates that it is possible to produce transgenic monocoty–ledonous plants by transforming scutellar tissue of immature embryos.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Gordon-Kamm, W.J., Spencer, T.M., Mangano, M.L., Adams, T.R., Daines, R.J., Start, W.G., O'Brien, J.V., Chambers, S.A., Adams, W.R., Willetts, N.G., Rice, T.B., Mackey, C.J., Krueger, R.W., Kausch, A.P. and Lemaux, P.G. 1990. Transformation of maize cells and regeneration of fertile transgenic plants. The Plant Cell 2: 603–618.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Umbeck, P., Johnson, G., Barton, K.A. and Swain, W.F. 1987. Genetically transformed cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants. Bio/Technology 5: 263–266.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    McCabe, D.E., Swain, W.F., Martinell, B.J. and Christou, P. 1988. Stable transformation of soybean (Glycine max) by particle acceleration. Bio/Technology 6: 923–926.

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Fromm, M.E., Morrish, F., Armstrong, C., Williams, R., Thomas, J. and Klein, T.M. 1990. Inheritance and expression of chimeric genes in the progeny of transgenic maize plants. Bio/Technology 8: 833–844.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Toriyama, K., Arimoto, Y., Uchimiya, H. and Hinata, K. 1988. Transgenic rice plants after direct gene transfer into protoplasts. Bio/Technology 6: 1072–1074.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Zhang, H.M., Yang, H., Rech, E.L., Golds, T.J., Davis, A.S., Mulligan, B.J. and Cocking, E.G. 1988. Transgenic rice plants produced by electroporation mediated plasmid uptake into protoplasts. Plant Cell Reports 7: 379–383.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Shimamoto, K., Teda, R., Izawa, T. and Fujimoto, H. 1989. Fertile transgenic rice plants regenerated from transformed protoplasts. Nature 338: 274–277.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Tada, Y., Sakamoto, M. and Fujimura, T. 1990. Efficient gene introduction into rice by electroporation and analysis of transgenic plants: use of electroporation buffer lacking chloride ions. Theor. Appl. Genet. 80: 475–480.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Hayashimoto, A., Li, Z. and Murai, N. 1990. A PEG-mediated protoplast transformation system for production of fertile transgenic rice plants.Plant Physiology 93: 857–863.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Datta, S.K., Peterhans, A., Datta, K. and Potrykus, I. 1990. Genetically engineered fertile Indica-rice recovered from protoplasts. Bio/Technology 8: 736–740.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Raineri, D.M., Bottino, P., Gordon, M.P. and Nester, E.W. 1990. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Bio/Technology 8: 33–38.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Luo, Z. and Wu, R. 1988. A simple method for the transformation of rice via the pollen-tube pathway.Plant Mol. Biol. Rep. 6: 165–174.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Christou, P., McCabe, D.E., Martinell, B.J. and Swain, W.F. 1990. Soybean genetic engineering—Commercial production of transgenic plants. Trends in Biotechnology 8: 145–151.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Potrykus, I. 1989. Gene transfer to cereals: an assessment. Trends in Biotech. 7: 269–273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Potrykus, I. 1990. Gene transfer to plants: assessment and perspectives. Physiol. Plantarum 79: 125–134.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Swaminathan, M.S. 1982. Biotechnology research and third world agriculture. Science 218: 967–972.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Wu, R., Kemmerer, E. and McElroy, D. 1990. Transformation and regeneration of important crop plants: Rice as the model system for monocots. Gene manipulation in plant improvement II: 251–263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Potrykus, I. 1990. Gene transfer to cereals. An assessment. Bio/Technology 8: 535–542.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Peng, J., Lyznik, L.A., Lee, L. and Hodges, T.K. 1990. Cotransformation of indica rice protoplasts with gus A and neo genes. Plant Cell Reports 9: 168–172.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Christou, P., McCabe, D.E. and Swain, W.F. 1988. Stable transformation of soybean callus by DNA-coated gold particles. Plant Physiol. 87: 671–674.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Hartke, S. and Lorz, H. 1989. Somatic embryogenesis and plant regeneration from various indica rice (Oryza sativa L.) genotypes. J. Genet. & Breed. 43: 205–214.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Datta, S.K., Datta, K. and Potrykus, I. 1990. Embryogenesis and plant regeneration from microspores of both Indica and Japonica rice (Oryza sativa). Plant Sci. 67: 83–88.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Dekeyser, R., Claes, B., Marichal, M., Van Montagu, M. and Caplan, A. 1989. Evaluation of selectable markers for rice transformation. Plant. Physiol. 90: 217–223.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Christou, P., Swain, W.F., Yang, N.S. and McCabe, D.E. 1989. Inheritance and expression of foreign genes in transgenic soybean plants. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86: 7500–7504.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Christou, P. and Swain, W.F. 1990. Cotransformation frequencies of foreign genes in soybean cell cultures. Theor. Appl. Genet. 79: 337–341.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Jefferson, R.A., Kavanagh, T.A. and Bevan, M.W. 1987. GUS fusions: β-glucuronidase as a sensitive and versatile gene fusion marker in higher plants.EMBO J. 6: 3901–3907.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    De Block, M., Botterman, J., Vandewiele, M., Dockx, J., Thoen, C., Gossele, V., Rao Movva, N., Thompson, C., Van Montagu, M. and Leemans, J. 1987. Engineering herbicide resistance in plants by expression of a detoxifying enzyme. EMBO J. 6: 2513–2518.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Berry-Lowe, S., McKnight, T.D., Shah, D.M. and Meagher, R.B. 1982. The nucleotide sequence, expression, and evolution of one member of a multigene family encoding the small subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase in soybean. J. Mol. Appl. Genet. 1: 483–498.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Dellaporta, S.L., Wood, J. and Hicks, J.B. 1984. Maize DNA mini-prep, p. 36–37. In: Molecular Biology of Plants. A Laboratory Course Manual R. Malmberg, J. Messing and I. Sussex (Eds.) Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York.

    Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Southern, E.M. 1975. Detection of specific sequences among DNA fragments separated by gel electrophoresis. J. Mol. Biol. 98: 503–517.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Church, G.M. and Gilbert, W. 1984. Genomic sequencing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 81: 1991–1995.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Christou, P., Ford, T. & Kofron, M. Production of Transgenic Rice (Oryza Sativa L.) Plants from Agronomically Important Indica and Japonica Varieties via Electric Discharge Particle Acceleration of Exogenous DNA into Immature Zygotic Embryos. Nat Biotechnol 9, 957–962 (1991).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing