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Stability and expression of amplified EPSPS genes in glyphosate resistant tobacco cells and plantlets


The stability and expression of amplified 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) genes was examined in glyphosate resistant tobacco cells grown in glyphosate-free medium, and in plantlets regenerated from resistant cells. Amplified DNA was maintained in resistant cells grown in the absence of glyphosate for three years. Amplified EPSPS genes were retained in regenerated plantlets at levels comparable to those observed in the resistant cells, and EPSPS mRNA was overexpressed (compared to unselected plantlets). However, glyphosate resistance in cell lines grown in glyphosate-free medium declined 7-fold, and in regenerated plantlets approximately 20-fold, compared to resistant cells maintained under glyphosate selection. In plantlets, reduced resistance correlated with lower levels of EPSPS mRNA. Plantlets regenerated from resistant cells exhibited morphological variation, and had an approximate doubling of their nuclear genome size.

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Communicated by J. M. Widholm

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Jones, J.D., Goldsbrough, P.B. & Weller, S.C. Stability and expression of amplified EPSPS genes in glyphosate resistant tobacco cells and plantlets. Plant Cell Reports 15, 431–436 (1996).

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  • glyphosate
  • gene expression
  • gene amplification
  • cell culture
  • resistance