Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Agrobacterium rhizogenes transformed roots of the parasitic plant Triphysaria versicolor retain parasitic competence

Alexey Tomilov, Natalya Tomilova, John I. Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Parasitic plants in the Orobanchaceae invade roots of neighboring plants to rob them of water and nutrients. Triphysaria is facultative parasite that parasitizes a broad range of plant species including maize and Arabidopsis. In this paper we describe transient and stable transformation systems for Triphysaria versicolor Fischer and C. Meyer. Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Agrobacterium rhizogenes were both able to transiently express a GUS reporter in Triphysaria seedlings following vacuum infiltration. There was a correlation between the length of time seedlings were conditioned in the dark prior to infiltration and the tissue type transformed. In optimized experiments, nearly all of the vacuum infiltrated seedlings transiently expressed GUS activity in some tissue. Calluses that developed from transformed tissues were selected using non-destructive GUS staining and after several rounds of in vivo GUS selection, we recovered uniformly staining GUS calluses from which roots were subsequently induced. The presence and expression of the transgene in Triphysaria was verified using genomic PCR, RT PCR and Southern hybridizations. Transgenic roots were also obtained by inoculating A. rhizogenes into wounded Triphysaria seedlings. Stable transformed roots were identified using GUS staining or fluorescent microscopy following transformation with vectors containing GFP, dsRED or EYFP. Transgenic roots derived from both A. tumefaciens and A. rhizogenes transformations were morphologically normal and developed haustoria that attached to and invaded lettuce roots. Transgenic roots also remained competent to form haustoria in response to purified inducing factors. These transformation systems will allow an in planta assessment of genes predicted to function in plant parasitism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1071
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


  • Gene transformation
  • Orobanchaceae
  • Parasitic plants
  • Triphysaria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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