T-DNA is organized predominantly in inverted repeat structures in plants transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 derivatives
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- Jorgensen, R., Snyder, C. & Jones, J.D.G. Mol Gen Genet (1987) 207: 471. doi:10.1007/BF00331617
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The detailed structural organization of DNA sequences transferred to the plant genome via Agrobacterium tumefaciens has been determined in 11 transgenic tomato plants that carry the transferred DNA (T-DNA) at a single genetic locus. The majority (seven) of these plants were found to carry multiple copies of T-DNA arranged in inverted repeat structures. Such a high frequency of inverted repeats among transgenotes has not been previously reported and appears to be characteristic of transformation events caused by C58/pGV3850 strains of Agrobacterium. The inverted repeats were found to be centered on either the left or the right T-DNA boundary and both types were observed at similar frequency. In several plants both types of inverted repeat were found to coexist in the same linear array of elements. Direct repeats were observed in two plants, each time at the end of an array of inverted repeat elements, and at a lower frequency than inverted repeats. The junctions between T-DNA elements and plant DNA sequences and the junctions between adjacent T-DNA elements were mapped in the same 11 plants, allowing the determination of the distribution of junction points at each end for both types of junction. Based on a total of 17 distinct junctions at the right end of T-DNA and 19 at the left end, the distribution of junction points was found to be much more homogeneous at the right end than at the left end. Left end junctions were found to be distributed over a 3 kb region of T-DNA with two thirds of the junctions within 217 bp of the left repeat. Two thirds of the right end junctions were found to lie within 11 bp of the right repeat with the rest more than 39 bp from the right repeat. T-DNA::plant DNA junctions and T-DNA::T-DNA inverted repeat junctions showed similar distributions of junction points at both right and left ends. The possibilities that T-DNA inverted repeats are unstable in plants and refractory to cloning in wild type Escherichia coli is discussed. Two distinct types of mechanisms for inverted repeat formation are contrasted, replication and ligation mechanisms.