Antimicrobial solid media for screening non-sterile Arabidopsis thaliana seeds (bioRxiv)

Transgenic plant production often involves an agar-based selection step in which plants that have taken up the introduced DNA (containing a selectable marker) show resistance to a corresponding antibiotic. Typically, putatively transformed seeds are surface sterilized prior to plating so that microbes don’t outgrow the much slower-growing plants. This step is time consuming and can damage the seeds, making it a bottleneck in the process. Now, Behrendorff et al. have found that simply including additional antibiotics in the plating medium is sufficient to prevent microbial growth and eliminate the surface sterilization step, and that the cocktail they have developed does not interfere with seed germination or seedling growth. (Summary by Mary Williams) bioRxiv 10.1101/852020