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Evaluation Of The Phosphomannose Isomerase-Based Selection System For Genetic Transformation Of Sweetpotato

Wilton Mbinda, Sylvia Nawiri, Makenzi Nzaro, Benson Kinyagia, Allan Mgutu, Richard Oduor

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In response to increased public concern on antibiotic or herbicide resistance genes usage in genetically modified plants, mannose was evaluated as selectable agent for the genetic transformation of sweetpotato. Nontransformed sweetpotato stem explants of cv. KSP36 were cultured on media containing various combinations and concentrations sucrose and mannose ranging from 0 to 30 g/l. Likewise, efficacy of hygromycin and kanamycin as selection agents for transformation of sweetpotato was evaluated on media containing varying concentrations of antibiotics ranging 0 to 100 mg/l. Selection agent effectiveness was determined by detecting the minimal concentration of the selection agent required to fully inhibit sweetpotato calli growth. Hygromycin was the most effective selection agent as it inhibited cell growth at concentrations above 20 mg/l. Kanamycin was moderately effective as it inhibited cell growth at 60 mg/l. Sweetpotato calli were able to grow and even produce embryos even when mannose was the only source of carbohydrates.DOI: International Journal of Life Sciences 9 (3): 2015; 46-53