Development of a robust transient expression screening system in protoplasts of cannabis
journal contributionposted on 25.01.2022, 01:19 authored by Lennon Matchett-OatesLennon Matchett-Oates, E Mohamaden, German SpangenbergGerman Spangenberg, Noel CoganNoel Cogan
Transient expression systems in mesophyll protoplasts have been utilised in many plant species as an indispensable tool for gene function analysis and efficacious genome editing constructs. However, such a system has not been developed in Cannabis due to the recalcitrant nature of the plant to tissue culture as well as its illegal status for many years. In this study, young expanding leaves from aseptic in vitro Cannabis explants were used for protoplast isolation. Factorial designs were used to optimise variables in viable protoplast isolation and transient expression of GFP, with a range analyses performed to determine, and quantify, significantly impacting variables. Viable protoplast yields as high as 5.7 × 106 were achieved with 2.5% (w/v) Cellulase R-10, 0.3% (w/v) Macerozyme R-10 and 0.7 M mannitol, incubated for 16 h. As indicated by the transient expression of GFP, efficiency reached 23.2% with 30 μg plasmid, 50% PEG, 1 × 106 protoplasts and a transfection duration of 20 min. Application of the optimised protocol for protoplast isolation was successfully evaluated on three subsequent unrelated genotypes to highlight the robustness and broad applicability of the developed technique.