Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Shivendra V. Sahi (Director), Dr. Sigrid Jacobshagen, Dr. Linda Gonzales

Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Medicago is widely used as a forage crop. It is often susceptible to various pathogenic infections and exhibits low growth in drought and extreme climatic conditions. In the current study, a strategy was developed for over-expressing an “Osmotin-Chitinase” gene chimera in transgenic Medicago that could potentially confer resistance to different biotic and abiotic stresses. Seed germination of several cultivars of Medicago (M. sativa ssp. sativa, M. sativa ssp. falcata, M. sativa ssp. caerulea, M. truncatula, and M. Rugosa) was tested to determine the cultivars with good germination rates. Among these, M. sativa ssp. sativa showed an average of 80% germination over a period of one week and was subsequently selected for regeneration and transformation experiments. Different explants (cotyledons, hypocotyls, petioles) were tested for regeneration. Among these, hypocotyl explants showed highest (46.17 %) percent regeneration. Escherichia coli harboring Osmotin-Chitinase (OSM-CHI) gene chimera cloned into binary vector pBTEX with nptII as a selection marker was mobilized in Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105 which was employed in the transformation of hypocotyl explants of Medicago. Transformed calli were grown on callus inducing medium containing kanamycin for screening. Further screening of the positive transgenics was performed using PCR. Southern hybridization was carried out for further confirmation of successful transformation. Transformed shoots will be grown on the root inducing medium for developing into plantlets which would then be transferred to the green house and later tested for their degree of resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses.


Agricultural Science | Biology | Plant Biology | Plant Breeding and Genetics | Plant Sciences