, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 705-708

Transgenic tobacco plants regenerated from leaf disks can be periclinal chimeras

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Amongst rolC transgenic tobacco plants regenerated from leaf disks 6.5% are periclinal chimeras, i.e. plants with genetically different cell populations in different cell layers. The expression of the rolC gene of Agrobacterium rhizogenes causes a reduction in pigment content in leaves. The chimeric composition of the regenerated plants becomes thus apparent as light green leaf tissue in the transgenic region, tissue flanked by dark green wild-type sectors. Southern and northern blot analysis confirmed the chimeric nature of such plants. Investigation of selfed progeny of chimeric plants on selective media indicates that layer invasion in reproductive tissues can occur in tobacco early during the formation of the flower buds. The results show (1) that tobacco plants regenerated from leaf disks and grown on selective media have not necessarily the same clonal origin and (2) that they can give rise to non-transgenic offspring. The chimeric plants provide insight on the effect of rolC gene expression on microsporogenesis.