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Organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH, EC provides a novel function as an alternative genetic marker system for use in many types of plant transformations. OPH is a high-capacity hydrolase with multiple organophosphorus substrates, many of which are neurotoxins and thus used extensively as pesticides. This spectrum of organophosphates includes compounds that are phytotoxic as well as those that are hydrolyzed to products that are easily detected visually without significant disruption of plant health. This dichotomy gives OPH the features of both a selectable marker as well as that of a scorable marker system, and these characteristics have been tested at several stages during the plant transformation and regeneration process. Finally, it is possible to quantify hydrolytic activity in the seed without interfering with its subsequent growth and regeneration.


T Scott Pinkerton, James R Wild, John A Howard. Organophosphorus hydrolase: a multifaceted plant genetic marker which is selectable, scorable, and quantifiable in whole seed. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2012;847:11-23

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PMID: 22350995

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