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Nat Biotechnol. 2008 Sep;26(9):1015-7. doi: 10.1038/nbt.1491.

T-DNA-mediated transfer of Agrobacterium tumefaciens chromosomal DNA into plants.

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Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Department of Plant Microbe Interactions, Carl-von-Linne-Weg 10, D-50829 Cologne, Germany.


Besides the well-documented integration of DNA flanked by the transfer DNA borders, occasional insertion of fragments from the tumor-inducing plasmid into plant genomes has also been reported during Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. We demonstrate that large (up to approximately 18 kb) gene-bearing fragments of Agrobacterium chromosomal DNA (AchrDNA) can be integrated into Arabidopsis thaliana genomic DNA during transformation. One in every 250 transgenic plants may carry AchrDNA fragments. This has implications for horizontal gene transfer and indicates a need for greater scrutiny of transgenic plants for undesired bacterial DNA.

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