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Inheritance and Expression of the Mouse Metallothionein Gene in Tobacco: Impact on Cd Tolerance and Tissue Cd Distribution in Seedlings

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  • Molecular Biology And Gene Regulation
  • Engineering


Genetically engineered seedlings obtained from self-fertilized transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) contained and expressed the mouse metallothionein and kanamycin resistance marker genes and were more tolerant to cadmium stress than untransformed controls. Cadmium accumulation in leaves of transgenic seedlings exposed to a low, field-like Cd concentration (0.02 micromolar) was about 20% lower than that in untransformed controls. Genetic analysis of R1 and R2 progeny showed inheritance of the marker gene to be as a dominant Mendelian trait. These results suggest the possibility of developing transgenic plants with modified tolerance to heavy metal stress and food crops having lower Cd content.

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