A characteristic phenotype of highly embryogenic explants along with the location of embryogenesis- and transformation-competent cells/tissues on immature cotyledons of soybean \[Glycine max (L.) Merrill.\] under hygromycin selection was identified. This highly embryogenic immature cotyledon was characterized with emergence of somatic embryos and incidence of browning/necrotic tissues along the margins and collapsed tissues in the mid-region of an explant incubated upwards on the selection medium. The influences of various parameters on induction of somatic embryogenesis on immature cotyledons following Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation and selection were investigated. Using cotyledon explants derived from immature embryos of 5–8 mm in length, a 1:1 (v/v; bacterial cells to liquid D40 medium) concentration of bacterial suspension and 4-wk cocultivation period significantly increased the frequency of transgenic somatic embryos. Whereas, increasing the infection period of explants or subjecting explants to either wounding or acetosyringone treatments did not increase the frequency of transformation. An optimal selection regime was identified when inoculated immature cotyledons were incubated on either 10 or 25 mg l−1 hygromycin for a 2-wk period, and then maintained on selection media containing 25 mg l−1 hygromycin in subsequent selection periods. However, somatic embryogenesis was completely inhibited when inoculated immature cotyledons were incubated on a kanamycin selection medium. These findings clearly demonstrated that the tissue culture protocols for transformation of soybean should be established under both Agrobacterium and selection conditions.
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Vol. 40 • No. 6