Transgenic approach has the potential to significantly improve seed productivity of J. curcas, which requires an efficient genetic transformation and regeneration system. Although in vitro regenerated J. curcas plants have been obtained from various explants such as leaves, hypocotyls, petioles, and nodes, these regeneration systems have not translated into efficient genetic transformation protocols.
Prof. XU Zengfu and his team developed an efficient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation protocol using cotyledon explants from J. curcas seeds. In the protocol used, the critical step for successful transformation is that the selective agent kanamycin (20 mg/L) is not included in the callus-inducing medium within the first 4 weeks after co-cultivation with Agrobacterium. Regenerated J. curcas plants with kanamycin-resistance were successfully obtained. Molecular characterization by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Southern blot analysis and β-glucuronidase (GUS) activity staining revealed that a 30.8% of the kanamycin-resistant regenerated J. curcas plants was successfully transformed using this method.Entitled “Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of biofuel plant Jatropha curcas using kanamycin selection”, a publication of the results from these experiments has been published in African Journal of Biotechnology 2010, 9(39): 6477-6481.