A binary vector, designated PROGMO, was constructed to assess the potential of the Zygosaccharomyces rouxii R/Rs recombination system for generating marker- and backbone-free transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants with high transgene expression and low copy number insertion. The PROGMO vector utilises a constitutively expressed plant-adapted R recombinase and a codA-nptII bi-functional, positive/negative selectable marker gene. It carries only the right border (RB) of T-DNA and consequently the whole plasmid will be inserted as one long T-DNA into the plant genome. The recognition sites (Rs) are located at such positions that recombinase enzyme activity will recombine and delete both the bi-functional marker genes as well as the backbone of the binary vector, leaving only the gene of interest flanked by a copy of Rs¿and RB. Efficiency of PROGMO transformation was tested by introduction of the GUS reporter gene into potato. It was shown that after 21 days of positive selection and using 300 mgl¿1 5-fluorocytosine for negative selection, 29% of regenerated shoots carried only the GUS gene flanked by a copy of Rs and RB. The PROGMO vector approach is simple and might be widely applicable for the production of marker- and backbone-free transgenic plants of many crop species.
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