(1822 - 1895)
Ingeniero español. Miembro fundador de la Real Academia de Ciencias Médicas, Físicas y Naturales de la Habana, en 1861, donde presentó la mayor parte de los resultados de la labor de investigación realizada durante su residencia en Cuba.
Agrarian and Fishery Sciences
1998 | Obtaining transgenic plants of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L) through Agrobacterium tumefaciens: a new methodology for the genetic transformation of this grass.
Main executives entity: Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (CIGB) (1) , Province Station for Researches on Sugarcane of Matanzas (EPICA). (2)
Main author: Del (1) Gil Alberta Enriquez Obregón, Roberto Irenaldo Vázquez Padrón y Ariel Domingo Arencibia.
Coauthors: From (1) Dmitri Prieto Samsonov, Elva Rosa Carmona, Pilar Tellez Rodríguez and Gustavo Alberto de la Riva de la Riva.

This work is about the establishment of a methodology for the genetic transformation of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L.) through Agrobacterium tumefaciens and the use of this methodology for the generation of new commercial varieties of this cultivation. As application example, there were obtained transgenic sugar cane plants resistant to BASTA herbicide through the introduction of the gene that confers resistance to this product.

We have developed a methodology to introduce strange genes in sugar cane cells in a stable way using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. As explants, there were used meristems and callus from Ja 60-5commercial variety, previously treated with a mixture of antioxidant compound. We demonstrated that the three antioxidant compounds -ascorbic acid, cysteine and silver nitrate- can diminish the hypersensitivity reaction in the cut area of the meristematic explant of sugar cane. This decrease on cellular death improves the competition of vegetable tissue for the transformation through Agrobacterium and therefore the frequency of genetic transformation

The transformation of sugar cane by means of A. tumefaciens has advantages in relation to the previously existent methods. The methods of genetic transformation are traumatic for cells and vegetable tissues, expensive for the necessary special equipment, and the number of transgen copies per genoma is extremely variable. On the other hand, the transformation by means of Agrobacterium tumefaciens reduces the number of transgen copies per genoma and this potentially implies a decrease on the problems of instability and co-suppression of the transgen expression. There is obtained, through this procedure, a vast amount of clonally transformed plants in contrast to the high quantity of mosaic plants that are generated by the direct methods. This invention extends the methodology of transformation by means of A. tumefaciens an economically important species that was previously inaccessible to this type of operation.

The novelty of the work lies in the fact that it is a new methodology, more efficient than those already existent, to transform sugar cane and the generation of plants resistant to total herbicides. This invention has application in the fields of genetic engineering of plants in general, specifically in sugar cane and other gramineous.

It has been made a reference from this result by 38 foreign laboratories since the results were published in the international magazines Planta and Transgenic Research in July 1998.