Plant transformation has been the backbone technology that spawned a new transgenic crops industry with its first planting in 1994. Recent global market values according to ISAAA Brief were 7.5 and 10.5 billion USD in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The technology is also fueling its expansion beyond the traditional agriculture of food, feed and fiber, into new opportunities in transgenic plants for biopharmaceutics, bioremediation, and biofuels. Plant transformation is not merely a tool, but is in itself a scientific discipline that evolved from basic discoveries in plant pathology, cell biology, plant development, and transgene integration, expression, and transmission. Plant transformation technology has also been vital for advancing fundamental research. The first transgenic higher organism was tobacco reported in 1983-1984. It was these transgenic plants that had paved the research for transgenesis. Along the way, contributions were made on seminal discoveries in biology, such as the molecular elucidation of the first described mobile DNA element, the mechanisms of horizontal interkingdom gene transfer and the epigenetic regulation by RNAi. This EBook takes the readers from historic development to current state of the art, through its seven chapters written by the active practitioners from academia and industry. These chapters on DNA delivery, selection and report markers, plant regeneration, transformation vectors, in vitro conditioning to facilitate T-DNA delivery, marker-free plant transformation and plastid transformation provide comprehensive understanding and insight into a subject that will bear the relevance in our daily lives in the 21st century.
We wish to thank the contributing authors and the reviewer panel of Bentham Publisher for their contributions in time and critical suggestions and comments, as well as to Bentham Publisher and their team members for the opportunity to publish this work. We also thank our family members for their love and encouragement during the completion of this book.