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T-DNA–mediated transfer of Agrobacterium tumefaciens chromosomal DNA into plants

Nature Biotechnology volume 26, pages 10151017 (2008) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Besides the well-documented integration of DNA flanked by the transfer DNA borders, occasional insertion of fragments from the tumor-inducing plasmid into plant genomes has also been reported during Agrobacterium tumefaciens–mediated transformation. We demonstrate that large (up to 18 kb) gene-bearing fragments of Agrobacterium chromosomal DNA (AchrDNA) can be integrated into Arabidopsis thaliana genomic DNA during transformation. One in every 250 transgenic plants may carry AchrDNA fragments. This has implications for horizontal gene transfer and indicates a need for greater scrutiny of transgenic plants for undesired bacterial DNA.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the students Pino Cagna and Alexander Boes for initial inverse PCR experiments leading to the discovery of the Agrobacterium chromosomal DNA in the transgenic locus named PM (PaperMaker) in a WRKY40 promoter::GUS line generated by Hikaru Seki, Prisca Viehoever for technical assistance and Csaba Koncz and Steven Spiker for suggestions and critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by the Max-Planck Society, the EU-funded REGIA project and the BMBF-funded GABI-Kat project.

Author information

Author notes

    • Bekir Ülker
    • , Yong Li
    •  & Mario G Rosso

    Present addresses: School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University, Science Site, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK (B.U.); University of Freiburg, FRISYS Core Facility Data Management, Habsburgerstrasse 49, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany (Y.L.); Leibniz-Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Department of Molecular Genetics, Corrensstrasse 3, D-06466 Gatersleben, Germany (M.G.R.).

Affiliations

  1. Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant Microbe Interactions, Carl-von-Linne-Weg 10, D-50829 Cologne, Germany.

    • Bekir Ülker
    • , Elke Logemann
    •  & Imre E Somssich
  2. Institute for Genome Research and Systems Biology, Bielefeld University, Universitaetsstrasse 25, D-33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

    • Yong Li
    • , Mario G Rosso
    •  & Bernd Weisshaar
  3. Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Molecular Plant Genetics, Carl-von-Linne-Weg 10, D-50829 Cologne, Germany.

    • Bernd Weisshaar

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Bekir Ülker or Bernd Weisshaar.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.1491