Engineering Herbicide Tolerance in Transgenic Plants

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Science  25 Jul 1986:
Vol. 233, Issue 4762, pp. 478-481
DOI: 10.1126/science.233.4762.478


The herbicide glyphosate is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate- 3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase in higher plants. A complementary DNA (cDNA) clone encoding EPSP synthase was isolated from a complementary DNA library of a glyphosate-tolerant Petunia hybrida cell line (MP4-G) that overproduces the enzyme. This cell line was shown to overproduce EPSP synthase messenger RNA as a result of a 20-fold amplification of the gene. A chimeric EPSP synthase gene was constructed with the use of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter to attain high level expression of EPSP synthase and introduced into petunia cells. Transformed petunia cells as well as regenerated transgenic plants were tolerant to glyphosate.

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