False flax (Camelina sativa L.) is currently under-exploited but highly promising oilseed crop. Combining Camelina’s attractive agronomic traits with its unprecedented ease for genetic engineering makes it an ideal plant chassis for biotechnology applications, in particular synthetic biology strategies. For targeted expression of transgene particularly to seeds requires identification and application of seed specific promoters. In the present study two cultivars of Camelina, namely Zuzana and Smilowska, were used for transformation at early flowering stage using the floral dip method. The plants were inoculated with Agrobacterium bearing a construct for expression of red fluorescent protein (RFP) under the control of the seed specific cruciferin promoter CRUC from Arabidopsis. Transgenic seeds and plants were identified on the basis of red fluorescence (RFP) and kanamycin resistance. Relatively high transformation efficiency of 8 % was achieved particularly for the cultivar Zuzana. However, many of regenerants exerted developmental deformations such as lack of shoot apical meristem, deformed or absent cotyledons, etc. Furthermore, the activity of the CRUC promoter was still active also in true leaves rendering this promoter as inappropriate for seed targeting of the transgene. Nevertheless, genetic transformation remains a tool for direct modulation of pathways for oil synthesis in oilseed crops.
Dodder (Cuscuta) species cause severe agricultural damage in many countries throughout the world. To establish strategies for control of its growth and spreading it is important to study its life cycle and survival strategies. For these efforts genetic modification would represent a powerful tool. Here we report on Agrobacteriummediated transformation of dodder using green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to actin-binding protein as a vital marker. Since the shoot of germinating C. europaea contains a functional apical meristem and grows quickly comparing to the root-like structure, the shoot apex was used here as explant. The transgene expression was only transient, nevertheless it enabled to detect allocation of actin filaments and studying the cytoskeleton organization in dodder shoot apex. Transient expression of GFP appears to be a suitable method for studying Cuscuta development through cytoskeleton organisation that is presently largely unexplored.
Acceptance of genetically modified plants is restricted in EU by legislation, while the attitude of public is not favourable as well. Surveys show that knowledge about GM plants is getting increased. Newly developed strategies on GM safety for environment can be a crucial aspect for the (partial) acceptance in future. GM trees as non-edible plants might appear as more admissible, however, are relatively rarely discussed. We performed a comparative survey on knowledge and perception of GM forest trees among students at four Slovak universities. We also compared their responses between as well as with the outcome of similar cross-country survey in frames of the COST Action FP0905. The results point to very similar attitude of Slovak students when compared with students from other countries, no significant difference between responses of males and females, but also influence of age as well as orientation of their study (natural sciences vs. economy) on view of GM tree safety and placing on the market.