An efficient transformation protocol is a primary requisite to study and utilize the genetic potential of any plant species. A quick transformation system is also crucial for the functional analysis of genes along with the study of proteins and their interactions in vivo.

Presently, however, quick and effective transformation systems are still lacking for many plant species including pineapple. This has limited the full exploration of the genetic repository of pineapple as well as the study of its genes, protein localization and protein interactions.


To address the above limitations, we have developed an efficient system for protoplast isolation and subcellular localization of desired proteins using pineapple plants derived from tissue culture. A cocktail of 1.5% (W/V) Cellulase R-10 and 0.5% (W/V) Macerozyme R-10 resulted in 51% viable protoplasts with 3 h digestion. Compared to previously reported protocols, our protoplast isolation method is markedly faster (saving 4.5 h), requires only a small quantity of tissue sample (1 g of leaves) and has high yield (6.5 × 105). The quality of the isolated protoplasts was verified using organelle localization in protoplasts with different organelle markers. Additionally, colocalization analysis of two pineapple Mg2+ transporter genes in pineapple protoplasts was consistent with the results in a tobacco transient expression system, confirming that the protoplast isolation method can be used to study subcellular localization. Further findings showed that the system is also suitable for protein–protein interaction studies.


Based on our findings, the presently described method is an efficient and effective strategy for pineapple protoplast isolation and transformation; it is convenient and time saving and provides a greater platform for transformation studies.





Fig. 1

Explant selection and callus induction. A Crown meristem and slips prepared for surface sterilization. B Crown meristem with newly formed buds. C Stem disks with new buds.

D Leaf bases with callus formation. E Box plot for the effect of different hormone combinations on bud initiation from crown meristems (95% confidence interval). 4B indicates 4 mg/l BAP; 5B indicates 5 mg/l BAP; 0.2 N indicates 0.2 mg/l NAA; 0.2I indicates 0.2 mg/l IAA.