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Structure, organization and expression of transferred DNA in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia crown-gall tissues

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Data are provided which show that transferred DNA (T-DNA) present in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia crown-gall lines in most cases was scrambled and not intact. Both wild-type, and ‘rooter’- and ‘shooter’-type mutants of octopine-type Agrobacterium tumefaciens were used to infect N. plumbaginifolia plantlets, cultured in vitro. Resulting tumors were excised from the plantlets and cultured for more than three years. During subculturing the tumor lines were scored for the following phenotypic traits: phytohormone autonomous growth in vitro (Aut+), spontaneous shoot regeneration (Reg+), root deficiency of shoots (Rod+), octopine production (Ocs+) and mannopine and agropine production (Mas+Ags+). An unexpectedly large variety of phenotypes was observed. For instance, two out of three tumor lines induced on haploid plantlets by the rooter mutant LBA4210 regenerated shoots, a phenomenon which is not observed for octopine tobacco tumor lines. Fifty percent of the crown-gall lines studied did not contain octopine. Only one line out of six independent lines analyzed was found to have a ‘regular’ T-DNA structure. Occurrence of aberrant T-DNA structures was not correlated with the ploidy level of infected plantlets, nor with the T-region structure of the inciting bacterial strain. The pattern of TL-DNA transcripts was studied for one line and correlated well with the aberrant T-DNA structure detected. Segments of TR-DNA, having irregular structures as well, were detected in two out of the six lines studied. The scrambled nature of the TR-DNA explained the absence of mannopine and agropine in these two lines. In addition, it was observed that N. plumbaginifolia tissue lines which did not carry T-DNA, became readily phytohormone autotrophic (habituated) at an early stage in tissue culture.

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Ags+/- :

tumor line with (+)/without(-)agropine production

Aut+/- :

tumor line with (+)/without (-) phytohormone autonomous growth

Aux+/Cyt+ :

tumor cells produced by active auxin/cytokinin genes from octopine TL-DNA

Mas+/- :

tumor line with (+)/without (-) mannopine production

Ocs+/- :

tumor line with (+)/without (-) octopine production

Reg+/- :

tumor line with (+)/without (-) spontaneous shoot regeneration

Rod+/- :

tumor line with (+)/without (-) root deficiency of shoots


transferred DNA


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Correspondence to R. Peerbolte.

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Peerbolte, R., te Lintel Hekkert, W., Barfield, D.G. et al. Structure, organization and expression of transferred DNA in Nicotiana plumbaginifolia crown-gall tissues. Planta 171, 393–405 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00398685

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Key words

  • Agrobacterium
  • Crown-gall
  • DNA, transferred
  • Nicotiana (T-DNA)
  • T-DNA structure