Genetic modification plays a vital role in breeding new crops with excellent traits. Almost all the current genetic modification methods require regeneration from tissue culture, involving complicated, long and laborious processes. In particular, many crop species such as cotton are difficult to regenerate. Here, we report a novel transformation platform technology, pollen magnetofection, to directly produce transgenic seeds without regeneration. In this system, exogenous DNA loaded with magnetic nanoparticles was delivered into pollen in the presence of a magnetic field. Through pollination with magnetofected pollen, transgenic plants were successfully generated from transformed seeds. Exogenous DNA was successfully integrated into the genome, effectively expressed and stably inherited in the offspring. Our system is culture-free and genotype independent. In addition, it is simple, fast and capable of multi-gene transformation. We envision that pollen magnetofection can transform almost all crops, greatly facilitating breeding processes of new varieties of transgenic crops.
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This research was supported by the Major National Scientific Research Program of China (2014CB932200), the Genetically Modified Organisms Breeding Major Projects of China (No. 2009ZX08010-006B), the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program (CAASXTCX2016004), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31301373), the Beijing Municipal Natural Science Foundation (6164045) and the Genetically Modified Organisms Breeding Major Projects of China (No. 2011ZX08005-004).
We thank Q. Wu and C. X. Wang of the Institute of Vegetables and Flowers, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences for pepper pollen, pumpkin pollen and cocozelle pollen.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Zhao, X., Meng, Z., Wang, Y. et al. Pollen magnetofection for genetic modification with magnetic nanoparticles as gene carriers. Nature Plants 3, 956–964 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-017-0063-z
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