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Tissue Culture Methods for the Screening and Analysis of Putative Virus-Resistant Transgenic Potato Plants

May 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  5
Pages  437 - 441

P. Russo and S. A. Slack

Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

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Accepted for publication 21 January 1998.

Following regeneration, putative virus-resistant transgenic plants are usually transferred from tissue culture to a greenhouse or growth chamber to screen for resistance to infection and disease development using mechanical, graft, or insect vector inoculation methods. To reduce initial screening costs and time, we developed mechanical and graft inoculation methods suitable for tissue culture use. The in vitro methods were validated by comparing them with similar greenhouse screens using putative potato virus Y strain o (PVY°) replicase-mediated resistant regenerants of the potato cultivar Atlantic. Five transgenic lines were tested, with similar results obtained from in vitro and greenhouse experiments. Two of the transgenic lines, A1 and A3, showed the greatest resistance to PVY°infection, as indicated by low enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay values and infection rates. In vitro mechanical inoculation methods were also used to infect wild-type tomato and tobacco plants with cucumber mosaic virus and potato virus Y. Potato plants were also infected with the phloem-restricted potato leafroll virus, a low-titer virus, using in vitro graft inoculation methods. These results suggest the potential usefulness of these simple, effective, and economical techniques for screening large numbers of putative virus-resistant plants.

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society