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Forests 2014, 5(5), 1106-1121; doi:10.3390/f5051106
Article

Field Supervisory Test of DREB-Transgenic Populus: Salt Tolerance, Long-Term Gene Stability and Horizontal Gene Transfer

1,†
, 1,†
, 1
, 1
, 2
, 2
, 3
 and 1,*
1 National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding, Key Laboratory of Genetics and Breeding in Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants of Ministry of Education, College of Biological Sciences and Technology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China 2 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China 3 Shandong Oriental Flower Co. Ltd., Dongying 257335, China These authors contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2013 / Revised: 6 May 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 22 May 2014
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Abstract

Improving saline resistance may be useful for reducing environmental susceptibility and improving yields in poplar plantations. However, the instability of genetically engineered traits and gene transfer reduce their usefulness and commercial value. To investigate whether the foreign gene is still present in the genome of receptor plants after seven years (i.e., long-term foreign gene stability and gene transfer), we randomly analyzed ten field-grown transgenic hybrid Populus ((Populus tomentosa × Populus bolleana) × P. tomentosa) carrying the DREB1 gene from Atriplex hortensis. The results of PCR and tissue culture experiments showed that AhDREB1 was present in the transgenic trees and was still expressed. However, the transcriptional expression level had decreased compared with that four years earlier. The PCR results also indicated no foreign gene in the genomic DNA of microorganisms in the soil near the transgenic poplars, indicating that no significant gene transfer had occurred from the transgenic poplars to the microorganisms at seven years after planting.
Keywords: Populus; transgenic hybrid; foreign gene stability; horizontal gene transfer Populus; transgenic hybrid; foreign gene stability; horizontal gene transfer
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lu, N.; Wei, B.; Sun, Y.; Liu, X.; Chen, S.; Zhang, W.; Zhang, Y.; Li, Y. Field Supervisory Test of DREB-Transgenic Populus: Salt Tolerance, Long-Term Gene Stability and Horizontal Gene Transfer. Forests 2014, 5, 1106-1121.

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