Send to

Choose Destination
Plant Cell. 2019 Feb;31(2):368-383. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00613. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Genome-Scale Sequence Disruption Following Biolistic Transformation in Rice and Maize.

Author information

Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602.
Department of Biology, Hamilton College, Clinton, New York 13323.
Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602.
Bionano Genomics, San Diego, California 92121.
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602.
Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602


Biolistic transformation delivers nucleic acids into plant cells by bombarding the cells with microprojectiles, which are micron-scale, typically gold particles. Despite the wide use of this technique, little is known about its effect on the cell's genome. We biolistically transformed linear 48-kb phage lambda and two different circular plasmids into rice (Oryza sativa) and maize (Zea mays) and analyzed the results by whole genome sequencing and optical mapping. Although some transgenic events showed simple insertions, others showed extreme genome damage in the form of chromosome truncations, large deletions, partial trisomy, and evidence of chromothripsis and breakage-fusion bridge cycling. Several transgenic events contained megabase-scale arrays of introduced DNA mixed with genomic fragments assembled by nonhomologous or microhomology-mediated joining. Damaged regions of the genome, assayed by the presence of small fragments displaced elsewhere, were often repaired without a trace, presumably by homology-dependent repair (HDR). The results suggest a model whereby successful biolistic transformation relies on a combination of end joining to insert foreign DNA and HDR to repair collateral damage caused by the microprojectiles. The differing levels of genome damage observed among transgenic events may reflect the stage of the cell cycle and the availability of templates for HDR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center