Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 577 - 586 (2013)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.130239pr
© UPV/EHU Press

Transformation of leguminous plants to study symbiotic interactions

Anelia Iantcheva1, Kirankumar S. Mysore2 and Pascal Ratet*,3

1AgroBioInstitute, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2Plant Biology Division, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, OK, USA and 3Institut des Sciences Végétales, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, Gif sur Yvette, France

ABSTRACT Legume plants are important in agriculture because they represent an important source of protein for human and animal consumption. This high protein content results from their capacity to use atmospheric nitrogen for their nutrition as a consequence of their symbiotic interaction with rhizobia. Understanding this interaction at the molecular level is a prerequisite for its better use in agriculture and for the long term objective of its transfer to other crops. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is a tool of choice for studying this interaction and for unraveling the function of the different genes discovered through classical genetic approaches. However, legume plants are often recalcitrant to regeneration and transformation. This paper describes the technology developments (regeneration, transformation, insertion mutagenesis) related to Agrobacterium transformations that were established in the legume plants, as well as different examples of the technology developments or gene discoveries resulting from these studies.

Keywords:

legume plant, agrobacterium, rhizobium, transformation, symbiosis

*Corresponding author e-mail: Pascal.Ratet@isv.cnrs-gif.fr