Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Lining Tian

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Danielle Way

Joint Supervisor


The genetic engineering of plants allows for the modification of plant genomes, subsequently improving plant traits. There are, however, plants recalcitrant to established transformation methods, requiring the implementation of novel techniques. This study investigates the viability of cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) transformation using Tat2, a CPP with demonstrated transformation efficiency in plant and animal systems, in two regenerable tissue culture systems, soybean somatic embryos and Arabidopsis protoplasts. Assessments of complex formation, Tat2 cellular translocation, complex uptake, and CPP-mediated transformation were carried out. The results show the formation of a Tat2-plasmid complex and the uptake of Tat2 into Arabidopsis protoplast cells. However, CPP-cargo complex uptake and successful transformations were not observed in either system. As well, definitive Tat2 uptake into soybean somatic embryo cells was not detected. This study highlights the areas in each regenerable system where further study is needed for CPP-mediated transformation development.