Molecular analysis of Agrobacterium T-DNA integration in tomato reveals a role for left border sequence homology in most integration events

Colwyn M. Thomas, Jonathan D. G. Jones

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Studies in several plants have shown that Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA can integrate into plant chromosomal DNA by different mechanisms involving single-stranded (ss) or double-stranded (ds) forms. One mechanism requires sequence homology between plant target and ssT-DNA border sequences and another double-strand-break repair in which preexisting chromosomal DSBs “capture” dsT-DNAs. To learn more about T-DNA integration in Solanum lycopersicum we characterised 98 T-DNA/plant DNA junction sequences and show that T-DNA left border (LB) and right border transfer is much more variable than previously reported in Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus tremula. The analysis of seven plant target sequences showed that regions of homology between the T-DNA LB and plant chromosomal DNA plays an important role in T-DNA integration. One T-DNA insertion generated a target sequence duplication that resulted from nucleolytic processing of a LB/plant DNA heteroduplex that generated a DSB in plant chromosomal DNA. One broken end contained a captured T-DNA that served as a template for DNA repair synthesis. We propose that most T-DNA integrations in tomato require sequence homology between the ssT-DNA LB and plant target DNA which results in the generation of DSBs in plant chromosomal DNA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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