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Efficient production of transgenic melon via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation

Author(s): I. Bezirganoglu, S.Y. Hwang, J.F. Shaw and T.J. Fang

Oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) is an important fruit for human consumption. However, this plant species is one of the most recalcitrant to genetic transformation. The lack of an efficient in vitro system limits the development of a reproducible genetic transformation protocol for Oriental melon. In this study, an efficient transgenic production method for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using cotyledon explants of Oriental melon was developed. Cotyledon explants were pre-cultivated for two days in the dark, and the optimal conditions for transformation of melon were determined to be a bacteria concentration of OD600 0.6, inoculation for 30 min, and two days of co-cultivation. Transgenic melon plants were produced from kanamycin-resistant shoots. A total of 11 independent transgenic plants were regenerated with a transformation efficiency of 0.8% of the inoculated explants. The transgenic plants were phenotypically normal and fully fertile, which might be a consequence of the co-cultivation time.