An improved transformation method for efficient and high throughput transgenic soybean production was reported in Transgenic Research. The results can be used for basic research studies and also for the commercial development of GM soybean products.
Genetic engineering of soybean dates back to over two decades, but improvements in the process are necessary to achieve higher efficiency. Thus, researchers from Dow AgroSciences developed an organogenesis-based transformation method for soybeans. This resulted in an average transformation frequency of 18.7%. The method applies Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the split-seed explant with an attached partial embryonic axis taken from an imbibed seed. In addition to the split-seed explant, Agrobacterium strain and preparation were found to be vital for enhanced transformation.
Transformation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens EHA105 led to higher transformation frequencies and a number of low copy events compared to the strain EHA101. Glufosinate tolerance was also successfully employed using the method. Furthermore, the method was shown to be applicable to different genotypes and a few elite lines showed high transformation frequencies.