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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Plant transformation by coinoculation with a disarmed Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain and an Escherichia coli strain carrying mobilizable transgenes.

Transformation of Nicotiana tabacum leaf explants was attempted with Escherichia coli as a DNA donor either alone or in combination with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. We constructed E. coli donor strains harboring either the promiscuous IncP-type or IncN-type conjugal transfer system and second plasmids containing the respective origins of transfer and plant-selectable markers. Neither of these conjugation systems was able to stably transform plant cells at detectable levels, even when VirE2 was expressed in the donor cells. However, when an E. coli strain expressing the IncN-type conjugation system was coinoculated with a disarmed A. tumefaciens strain, plant tumors arose at high frequencies. This was caused by a two-step process in which the IncN transfer system mobilized the entire shuttle plasmid from E. coli to the disarmed A. tumefaciens strain, which in turn processed the T-DNA and transferred it to recipient plant cells. The mobilizable plasmid does not require a broad-host-range replication origin for this process to occur, thus reducing its size and genetic complexity. Tumorigenesis efficiency was further enhanced by incubation of the bacterial strains on medium optimized for bacterial conjugation prior to inoculation of leaf explants. These techniques circumvent the need to construct A. tumefaciens strains containing binary vectors and could simplify the creation of transgenic plants.[1]


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