The Ti-Plasmid of Agrobacterium Tumefaciens, A Natural Vector for the Introduction of NIF Genes in Plants?

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There are several natural barriers to the introduction, maintenance and proper expression of “foreign” DNA into plant cells. First of all the foreign DNA must be taken up by the recipient plant cells without drastic alterations (e.g. extensive breakdown), secondly the introduced DNA must be replicated and the new copies must be distributed among the daughter cells at mitosis. Finally the introduced DNA must be expressed via transcription, translation and possibly correct processing and the proteins produced by these processes must be able to function in the new cellular environment. It would therefore appear that the possibilities for genetic engineering of plant cells with genes from bacterial origin, must be rather remote.