Marine Biotechnology: Development of In Vitro Methods and Genetic Engineering
Technology for Spartina alterniflora to Assess the Ecological Impact
of Heavy Metal Contamination in Salt Marsh Ecosystems
(Savannah State Univ., Savannah, GA, USA)
Sea Grant College Program (R/AT-7)
The smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora is a dominant plant species in the salt marshes, and it plays a significant
role in the salt marsh ecosystem. The lack of technology to produce axenic lines
and transgenic plants of S. alterniflora has hindered the application
of biotechnological and molecular methods to study the role of S. alterniflora in marine environmental health. This research is aimed at developing the much
needed technology to address issues related to the health of salt marshes.
of this project are to:
1. To establish axenic lines of S. alterniflora from surface sterilized
2. To establish an in vitro system for regenerating S. alterniflora,
3. To develop a gene transfer system for regenerating transgenic S. alterniflora.
1. Axenic lines of S. alterniflora have been clonally propagated
to preserve the genetic identity of each line and maintained in plant culture
vessels for future studies to characterize Spartina-microbe interactions
in the salt marsh ecosystem.
2. Gene delivery to S. alterniflora tissues and transient expression
of the transgene have been achieved.
3. Regeneration has been achieved from the transformable tissues (meristematic
tissues of the shoot system and young calli). Efforts are now in progress to
integrate this tissue culture method with the gene transfer method to regenerate
transgenic S. alterniflora plants.
Grando, M.F., Franklin, C.I., and Shatters, R.G. (2002) Optimizing embryogenic
callus production and plant regeneration from 'Tifton 9' bahiagrass (Paspalum
notatum Flügge) seed explants for genetic manipulation. Plant Cell
Tissue and Organ Culture 71(3), 213-222.
Palmer, T.D., Harkins, A.G., Palefsky, W.H., and Frischer, M.E. Axenic Lines
of Spartina alterniflora from Surface-sterilized Seeds. Marine Biotechnology
Palmer, T.D., and Franklin, C.I. Optimization of parameters for gene transfer
via particle bombardment-mediated DNA delivery to
Spartina alterniflora tissues. Wetlands (In preparation).