A wheat genomic DNA fragment reduces pollen transmission of maize transgenes by reducing pollen viability

Scott, M. Paul
Peterson, Joan
Moran, Daniel
Scott, Marvin
Sangtong, Varaporn
Smith, LaTrice
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Food Science and Human NutritionAgronomyGenetics

A genomic DNA fragment from wheat carrying the Glu-1Dx5 gene has been shown to exhibit reduced pollen transmission in transgenic maize. To localize the region of the DNA fragment responsible for this reduced pollen transmission, we produced transgenic maize plants in which the wheat genomic DNA proximal to the 1Dx5 coding sequence was replaced with the maize 27 kDa γ-zein promoter. Like the wheat promoter-driven Glu-1Dx5 transgene, this zein promoter-driven transgene functioned to produce 1Dx5 in maize endosperm. However, with the zein promoter-driven transgene, pollen transmission of the transgene loci was normal in most self- and cross-pollinations. We concluded that the wheat genomic DNA proximal to the wheat 1Dx5 coding sequence was required for reduced pollen transmission of the transgene in maize. In two of four transformation events of the wheat promoter-driven construct examined, pollen exhibited two morphological classes. In one class, pollen was normal in morphology and displayed average viability, and in the second, pollen was reduced in size and did not germinate on artificial media. DNA from the transgene was detectable in mature pollen from plants with reduced pollen transmission of transgene loci. To explain these observations, we hypothesize that elements within the transgene construct interfere with pollen development. We demonstrated that the wheat genomic DNA fragment can be used to control pollen transmission of an herbicide resistance transgene genetically linked to it. The wheat genomic DNA fragment may contain elements that are useful for controlling pollen transmission of transgene loci in commercial maize grain and seed production.


This article is published as Scott, M. Paul, Joan M. Peterson, Daniel L. Moran, Varaporn Sangtong, and LaTrice Smith. "A wheat genomic DNA fragment reduces pollen transmission of maize transgenes by reducing pollen viability." Transgenic research 16, no. 5 (2007): 629-643, doi: 10.1007/s11248-006-9055-x.