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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 1, 1991; 88(23): 10558–10562.
PMCID: PMC52968

Gene transfer with subsequent removal of the selection gene from the host genome.

Abstract

A general method of gene transfer that does not leave behind a selectable marker in the host genome is described. A luciferase gene was introduced into the tobacco genome by using the hygromycin phosphotransferase gene (hpt) as a linked selectable marker. Flanked by recombination sites from the bacteriophage P1 Cre/lox recombination system, the hpt gene was subsequently excised from the plant genome by the Cre recombinase. The Cre-catalyzed excision event in the plant genome was precise and conservative--i.e., without loss or alteration of nucleotides in the recombinant site. After removal of the Cre-encoding locus by genetic segregation, plants were obtained that had incorporated only the desired transgene. Gene transfer without the incorporation of antibiotic-resistance markers in the host genome should ease public concerns over the field release of transgenic organisms expressing such traits. Moreover, it would obviate the need for different selectable markers in subsequent rounds of gene transfer into the same host.

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Selected References

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