Transgenic Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) to Combat Weed Vagaries: Utility of an Apical Meristem-Targeted in planta Transformation Strategy to Introgress a Modified CP4-EPSPS Gene for Glyphosate Tolerance.
ABSTRACT: Weeds burden plant growth as they compete for space, sunlight, and soil nutrients leading to 25-80% yield losses. Glyphosate [N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine] is a widely used broad spectrum non-selective herbicide that controls weeds by inhibiting 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) enzyme and interfering with the shikimate biosynthesis pathway. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is one of the most important commercial crops grown worldwide for its fiber. We have developed herbicide tolerant transgenic cotton (cv. P8-6) by introgression of a codon-optimized and modified EPSPS gene (CP4-EPSPS) possessing an N-terminal chloroplast targeting peptide from Petunia hybrida. Because of the recalcitrant nature of cotton, a genotype-independent non-tissue culture-based apical meristem-targeted in planta transformation approach was used to develop transformants. Although in planta transformation methodologies are advantageous in developing a large number of transgenic plants, effective screening strategies are essential for initial identification of transformants. In the present study, the use of a two-level rigorous screening strategy identified 2.27% of T1 generation plants as tolerant to 800 and 1,500 mg/L of commercially available glyphosate (Roundup). Precise molecular characterization revealed stable integration, expression, and inheritance of CP4-EPSPS in advanced generations of the promising transgenic events. Further, superiority of selected transgenic plants in tolerating increasing levels of glyphosate (500-4,000 mg/L) was ascertained through reduced accumulation of shikimate. This report is the first of its kind where cotton transformants tolerating high levels of glyphosate (up to 4,000 mg/L) and accumulating low levels of shikimate have been identified. This study not only reiterated the genotype-independent nature of the transformation strategy but also reiterated the translational utility of the CP4-EPSPS gene in management of weeds.
Project description:Glyphosate quashes the synthesis of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3- phosphate synthase (EPSPS) enzyme which intercedes the functioning of shikimate pathway for the production of aromatic amino acids. Herbicide resistant crops are developed using glyphosate insensitive <i>EPSPS</i> gene isolated from <i>Agrobacterium</i> sp. strain CP4, which give farmers a sustainable weed control option. Intentions behind this study were to design and characterize the synthetic herbicide resistant <i>CP4</i>-<i>EPSPS</i> gene in a model plant system and check the effectiveness of transformed tobacco against application of glyphosate. Putative transgenic plants were obtained from independent transformation events, and stable plant transformation, transgene expression and integration were demonstrated respectively by PCR, qRT-PCR and Southern hybridization. Gene transcript level and gene copy number (1-4) varied among the tested transgenic tobacco lines. Herbicide assays showed that transgenic plants were resistant to glyphosate after 12 days of spraying with glyphosate, and EPSPS activity remained at sufficient level to withstand the spray at 1000 ppm of the chemical. T<sub>1</sub> plants analyzed through immunoblot strips and PCR showed that the gene was being translated into protein and transmitted to the next generation successfully. This codon optimized synthetic <i>CP4</i>-<i>EPSPS</i> gene is functionally equivalent to the gene for glyphosate resistance available in the commercial crops and hence we recommend this gene for transformation into commercial crops.
Project description:The shikimate pathway enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) is the target of the broad spectrum herbicide glyphosate. The genetic engineering of EPSPS led to the introduction of glyphosate-resistant crops worldwide. The genetically engineered corn lines NK603 and GA21 carry distinct EPSPS enzymes. CP4 EPSPS, expressed in NK603 corn and transgenic soybean, cotton, and canola, belongs to class II EPSPS, glyphosate-insensitive variants of this enzyme isolated from certain Gram-positive bacteria. GA21 corn, on the other hand, was created by point mutations of class I EPSPS, such as the enzymes from Zea mays or Escherichia coli, which are sensitive to low glyphosate concentrations. The structural basis of the glyphosate resistance resulting from these point mutations has remained obscure. We studied the kinetic and structural effects of the T97I/P101S double mutation, the molecular basis for GA21 corn, using EPSPS from E. coli. The T97I/P101S enzyme is essentially insensitive to glyphosate (K(i) = 2.4 mm) but maintains high affinity for the substrate phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) (K(m) = 0.1 mm). The crystal structure at 1.7-A resolution revealed that the dual mutation causes a shift of residue Gly(96) toward the glyphosate binding site, impairing efficient binding of glyphosate, while the side chain of Ile(97) points away from the substrate binding site, facilitating PEP utilization. The single site T97I mutation renders the enzyme sensitive to glyphosate and causes a substantial decrease in the affinity for PEP. Thus, only the concomitant mutations of Thr(97) and Pro(101) induce the conformational changes necessary to produce catalytically efficient, glyphosate-resistant class I EPSPS.
Project description:5-Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) catalyzes the transfer of a carboxyvinyl group from phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) to shikimate-3-phosphate and in plants is the target of the herbicide glyphosate. EPSPSs with high catalytic efficiency and insensitivity to glyphosate are of microbial origin, including the enzyme from Agrobacterium strain CP4, in which insensitivity is conferred by an active site alanine. In the sequence context of plant EPSPSs, alanine in place of glycine at the equivalent position interferes with the binding of both glyphosate and PEP. We show here that iterative optimization of maize EPSPS containing the G101A substitution yielded variants on par with CP4 in terms of catalytic activity in the presence of glyphosate. The improvement relative to G101A alone was entirely due to reduction in Km for PEP from 333 to 18 ?m, versus 9.5 ?m for native maize EPSPS. A large portion of the reduction in Km was conferred by two down-sizing substitutions (L97C and V332A) within 8 Å of glyphosate, which together reduced Km for PEP to 43 ?m Although the original optimization was conducted with maize EPSPS, contextually homologous substitutions conferred similar properties to the EPSPSs of other crops. We also discovered a variant having the known glyphosate-desensitizing substitution P106L plus three additional ones that reduced the Km for PEP from 47 ?m, observed with P106L alone, to 10.3 ?m The improvements obtained with both Ala101 and Leu106 have implications regarding glyphosate-tolerant crops and weeds.
Project description:<i>Agrobacterium</i> mediated <i>in planta</i> method was used to transform Indian elite wheat genotype HD2894 with herbicide-tolerant <i>CP4</i>-<i>EPSPS</i> (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) gene. The apical meristems of germinated seeds were targeted for introgression of transgene. The obtained T<sub>1</sub> plants were screened by spraying 1% glyphosate and only positive transformants survived. The presence of transgene was also confirmed by PCR and Southern hybridization. Using this method, 3.07% transformation rate was observed. To identify transgenic lines carrying stably integrated <i>CP4</i>-<i>EPSPS</i> gene, the transgenic populations were screened in T<sub>3</sub> generation using 1% glyphosate and lines with 100% survival were considered as homozygous. No significant morpho-physiological variations were observed within the transgenic lines as compared to non-transgenic plants. The present study resulted in herbicide-tolerant transgenic wheat and provides a valuable tool for development of wheat genetic transformation.
Project description:Chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) is an important high valued crop worldwide, and when grown on a large scale has problems with weeds. One important herbicide used is glyphosate. Glyphosate inactivates the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), a key enzyme in the synthesis of aromatic amino acids. A transgenic approach towards making glyphosate resistant plants, entails introducing copies of a gene encoding for glyphosate-resistant EPSPS enzyme into the plant. The main objective of our work was to use an intragenic approach to confer resistance to glyphosate in chile which would require using only chile genes for transformation including the selectable marker. Tobacco was used as the transgenic system to identify different gene constructs that would allow for the development of the intragenic system for chile, since chile transformation is inefficient. An EPSPS gene was isolated from chile and mutagenized to introduce substitutions that are known to make the encoded enzyme resistant to glyphosate. The promoter for EPSPS gene was isolated from chile and the mutagenized chile EPSPS cDNA was engineered behind both the CaMV35S promoter and the EPSPS promoter. The leaves from the transformants were checked for resistance to glyphosate using a cut leaf assay. In tobacco, though both gene constructs exhibited some degree of resistance to glyphosate, the construct with the CaMV35S promoter was more effective and as such chile was transformed with this gene construct. The chile transformants showed resistance to low concentrations of glyphosate. Furthermore, preliminary studies showed that the mutated EPSPS gene driven by the CaMV35S promoter could be used as a selectable marker for transformation. We have shown that an intragenic approach can be used to confer glyphosate-resistance in chile. However, we need a stronger chile promoter and a mutated chile gene that encodes for a more glyphosate resistant EPSPS protein.
Project description:More than 50 countries around the globe cultivate cotton on a large scale. It is a major cash crop of Pakistan and is considered "white gold" because it is highly important to the economy of Pakistan. In addition to its importance, cotton cultivation faces several problems, such as insect pests, weeds, and viruses. In the past, insects have been controlled by insecticides, but this method caused a severe loss to the economy. However, conventional breeding methods have provided considerable breakthroughs in the improvement of cotton, but it also has several limitations. In comparison with conventional methods, biotechnology has the potential to create genetically modified plants that are environmentally safe and economically viable. In this study, a local cotton variety VH 289 was transformed with two Bt genes (Cry1Ac and Cry2A) and a herbicide resistant gene (cp4 EPSPS) using the Agrobacterium mediated transformation method. The constitutive CaMV 35S promoter was attached to the genes taken from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and to an herbicide resistant gene during cloning, and this promoter was used for the expression of the genes in cotton plants. This construct was used to develop the Glyphosate Tolerance Gene (GTGene) for herbicide tolerance and insecticidal gene (Cry1Ac and Cry2A) for insect tolerance in the cotton variety VH 289. The transgenic cotton variety performed 85% better compared with the non-transgenic variety. The study results suggest that farmers should use the transgenic cotton variety for general cultivation to improve the production of cotton.
Project description:Transgenic components in genetically modified organisms consist not only of the transgenic genes, but also the transgenic protein. However, compared with transgenic DNA, less attention has been paid to the detection of expressed protein, especially those degraded from genetically modified soybean after food processing. In this study, the full length 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4-EPSPS, 47.6 kD) protein was probed with the SC-16 (S19-R33) and the DC-16 (D219-K233) polyclonal antibodies in immunoblots. Both antibodies were able to detect the full length CP4-EPSPS and its residues in soy powder made from Roundup-Ready soybeans after heating and microwaving treatments which also reduced the molecular weight of the protein to 45.8 and 38.7 kD, respectively. Taken together the immunoblot results suggest that the middle region of the CP4-EPSPS protein possessed better stability than its N-terminal during thermal processing. This deduction was further validated by autoclave treatment, where a 37.4 kD residue of the protein was recognized by DC-16. A similar result was obtained in processed smoked sausage containing Roundup Ready soybean protein isolate (as an extender). The additional use of a further polyclonal antibody CK-17 (C372-K388), showed that compared with only the one signal for CP4-EPSPS detected by the SC-16 and CK-17 antibodies, the DC-16 middle region antibody detected four signals for CP4-EPSPS from five market sourced soy protein concentrates. Taken together, the study suggested that the middle region of CP4-EPSPS was more useful than the N- and C-terminal for tracing transgenic CP4-EPSPS protein and its remnants in highly processed soy-related products.
Project description:A key enzyme in the shikimate pathway, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) is the primary target of the broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate. Identification of new aroA genes coding for EPSPS with a high level of glyphosate tolerance is essential for the development of glyphosate-tolerant crops. In the present study, the glyphosate tolerance of five bacterial aroA genes was evaluated in the E. coli aroA-defective strain ER2799 and in transgenic tobacco plants. All five aroA genes could complement the aroA-defective strain ER2799, and AM79 aroA showed the highest glyphosate tolerance. Although glyphosate treatment inhibited the growth of both WT and transgenic tobacco plants, transgenic plants expressing AM79 aroA tolerated higher concentration of glyphosate and had a higher fresh weight and survival rate than plants expressing other aroA genes. When treated with high concentration of glyphosate, lower shikimate content was detected in the leaves of transgenic plants expressing AM79 aroA than transgenic plants expressing other aroA genes. These results suggest that AM79 aroA could be a good candidate for the development of transgenic glyphosate-tolerant crops.
Project description:The engineering of transgenic crops resistant to the broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate has greatly improved agricultural efficiency worldwide. Glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, target the shikimate pathway enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase, the functionality of which is absolutely required for the survival of plants. Roundup Ready plants carry the gene coding for a glyphosate-insensitive form of this enzyme, obtained from Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4. Once incorporated into the plant genome, the gene product, CP4 EPSP synthase, confers crop resistance to glyphosate. Although widely used, the molecular basis for this glyphosate-resistance has remained obscure. We generated a synthetic gene coding for CP4 EPSP synthase and characterized the enzyme using kinetics and crystallography. The CP4 enzyme has unexpected kinetic and structural properties that render it unique among the known EPSP synthases. Glyphosate binds to the CP4 EPSP synthase in a condensed, noninhibitory conformation. Glyphosate sensitivity can be restored through a single-site mutation in the active site (Ala-100-Gly), allowing glyphosate to bind in its extended, inhibitory conformation.
Project description:Transgenic glyphosate-tolerant plants overproducing EPSPS (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase) may exhibit enhanced fitness in glyphosate-free environments. If so, introgression of transgenes overexpressing EPSPS into wild relative species may lead to increased competitiveness of crop-wild hybrids, resulting in unpredicted environmental impact. Assessing fitness effects of transgenes overexpressing EPSPS in a model plant species can help address this question, while elucidating how overproducing EPSPS affects the fitness-related traits of plants. We produced segregating T2 and T3Arabidopsis thaliana lineages with or without a transgene overexpressing EPSPS isolated from rice or Agrobacterium (CP4). For each of the three transgenes, we compared glyphosate tolerance, some fitness-related traits, and auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) content in transgene-present, transgene-absent, empty vector (EV), and parental lineages in a common-garden experiment. We detected substantially increased glyphosate tolerance in T2 plants of transgene-present lineages that overproduced EPSPS. We also documented significant increases in fecundity, which was associated with increased auxin content in T3 transgene-present lineages containing rice EPSPS genes, compared with their segregating transgene-absent lineages, EV, and parental controls. Our results from Arabidopsis with nine transgenic events provide a strong support to the hypothesis that transgenic plants overproducing EPSPS can benefit from a fecundity advantage in glyphosate-free environments. Stimulated biosynthesis of auxin, an important plant growth hormone, by overproducing EPSPS may play a role in enhanced fecundity of the transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The obtained knowledge is useful for assessing environmental impact caused by introgression of transgenes overproducing EPSPS from any GE crop into populations of its wild relatives.