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An improved protocol for efficient transformation and regeneration of diverse indica rice cultivars

Khirod K Sahoo1, Amit K Tripathi1, Ashwani Pareek2, Sudhir K Sopory1 and Sneh L Singla-Pareek1*

Author Affiliations

1 Plant Molecular Biology, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi 110067, India

2 Stress Physiology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, India

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Plant Methods 2011, 7:49  doi:10.1186/1746-4811-7-49

Published: 30 December 2011



Rice genome sequencing projects have generated remarkable amount of information about genes and genome architecture having tremendous potential to be utilized in both basic and applied research. Success in transgenics is paving the way for preparing a road map of functional genomics which is expected to correlate action of a gene to a trait in cellular and organismal context. However, the lack of a simple and efficient method for transformation and regeneration is a major constraint for such studies in this important cereal crop.


In the present study, we have developed an easy, rapid and highly efficient transformation and regeneration protocol using mature seeds as explants and found its successful applicability to a choice of elite indica rice genotypes. We have optimized various steps of transformation and standardized different components of the regeneration medium including growth hormones and the gelling agent. The modified regeneration medium triggers production of large number of shoots from smaller number of calli and promotes their faster growth, hence significantly advantageous over the existing protocols where the regeneration step requires maximum time. Using this protocol, significantly higher transformation efficiency (up to 46%) and regeneration frequency (up to 92% for the untransformed calli and 59% for the transformed calli) were achieved for the four tested cultivars. We have used this protocol to produce hundreds of independent transgenic lines of different indica rice genotypes. Upon maturity, these transgenic lines were fertile thereby indicating that faster regeneration during tissue culture did not affect their reproductive potential.


This speedy, yet less labor-intensive, protocol overcomes major limitations associated with genetic manipulation in rice. Moreover, our protocol uses mature seeds as the explant, which can easily be obtained in quantity throughout the year and kept viable for a long time. Such an easy, efficient and generalized protocol has the potential to be a major tool for crop improvement and gene-function studies on the model monocot plant rice.

rice; transformation; regeneration; mature seed-derived calli; Agrobacterium; somatic embryogenesis