T-DNA vector backbone sequences are frequently integrated into the genome of transgenic plants obtained by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation
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- De Buck, S., De Wilde, C., Van Montagu, M. et al. Molecular Breeding (2000) 6: 459. doi:10.1023/A:1026575524345
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Transgenic Arabidopsis and tobacco plants (125) derived from seven Agrobacterium-mediated transformation experiments were screened by polymerase chain reaction and DNA gel blot analysis for the presence of vector `backbone' sequences. The percentage of plants with vector DNA not belonging to the T-DNA varied between 20% and 50%. Neither the plant species, the explant type used for transformation, the replicon type nor the selection seem to have a major influence on the frequency of vector transfer. Only the border repeat sequence context could have an effect because T-DNA vector junctions were found in more than 50% of the plants of three different transformation series in which T-DNAs with octopine borders without inner border regions were used. Strikingly, many transgenic plants contain vector backbone sequences linked to the left T-DNA border as well as vector junctions with the right T-DNA border. DNA gel blots indicate that in most of these plants the complete vector sequence is integrated. We assume that integration into the plant genome of complete vector backbone sequences could be the result of a conjugative transfer initiated at the right border and subsequent continued copying at the left and right borders, called read-through. This model would imply that the left border is not frequently recognized as an initiation site for DNA transfer and that the right border is not efficiently recognized as a termination site for DNA transfer.