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EMBO J. 1988 Dec 20;7(13):4021-6.

Gene targeting in plants.

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Friedrich Miescher Institut, PO Box 2543, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


Although the generation of transgenic plants is now routine, the integration of foreign genetic information has so far been at random sites in the genome. We now present evidence for directed integration into a predicted location in the host plant genome. Protoplasts of transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum) plants carrying copies of a partial, non-functional drug-resistance gene in the nuclear DNA were used as recipients for DNA molecules containing the missing part of the gene. Molecular and genetic data confirm the integration of the foreign DNA through homologous recombination within overlapping parts of the protein coding region, resulting in the formation of an active gene in the host chromosome. This approach is referred to as gene targeting. The gene targeting frequency (the number of drug-resistant clones resulting from gene correction compared to the number of resistant clones from parallel experiments with a similar non-interrupted hybrid gene) was 0.5-4.2x10. These experiments demonstrate the possibility of producing transgenic plants with desired modifications to a specific nuclear gene.


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