Cell-Penetrating Peptides for the Delivery of Morphogenic Biomolecules into Plant Cells
Plants are sessile organisms that rely on totipotent cells for developmental plasticity in response to environmental changes. Cell identity and fate is mainly controlled by interactions between transcription factors and plant growth regulators. Tissue culture conventionally relies on exogenous growth regulators for control of cell development, however numerous species and genotypes cannot be cultured through this approach. Many tissues become responsive, however, through ectopic expression of transcription factors. Methods allowing for transient expression of genes for these factors could enable regeneration of recalcitrant plant tissue cultures. The use of cell-penetrating peptides for delivery of plasmids encoding for morphogenic transcription factors into plant cells was investigated, and was found to be ineffective. The development of binary constructs with morphogenic transcription factors under the control of an inducible expression system is also described, which may be useful in future efforts to improve explant regeneration with problematic species.