In an earlier fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) study on petunia (ten Hoopen et al. 1996), we found a considerable discrepancy between the genetic map and the physical map with respect to T-DNA insertions on metaphase chromosomes. For some transgenes we found a preference to integrate near the telomeres. Here, we studied the spatial position of transgenes in interphase nuclei by FISH and 3D-confocal microscopy to elucidate a possible structural preference for the nuclear localization of transgenes. Three transgenes located near telomeres on three different metaphase chromosomes showed a much more internal distribution in interphase root meristem than the telomeres, whereas a proximal transgene appeared to be distributed in a random fashion. The results point to local differences in chromatin compacting along a chromosome. These differences might explain a preference for T-DNA insertion in distal regions of the chromosome.