The maternal chromosome set is the target of the T-DNA in the in planta transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana

Genetics. 2000 Aug;155(4):1875-87.


In planta transformation methods are now commonly used to transform Arabidopsis thaliana by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The origin of transformants obtained by these methods has been studied by inoculating different floral stages and examining gametophytic expression of an introduced beta-glucuronidase marker gene encoding GUS. We observed that transformation can still occur after treating flowers where embryo sacs have reached the stage of the third division. No GUS expression was observed in embryo sacs or pollen of plants infiltrated with an Agrobacterium strain bearing a GUS gene under the control of a gametophyte-specific promoter. To identify the genetic target we used an insertion mutant in which a gene essential for male gametophytic development has been disrupted by a T-DNA bearing a Basta resistance gene (B(R)). In this mutant the B(R) marker is transferred to the progeny only by the female gametes. This mutant was retransformed with a hygromycin resistance marker and doubly resistant plants were selected. The study of 193 progeny of these transformants revealed 25 plants in which the two resistance markers were linked in coupling and only one plant where they were linked in repulsion. These results point to the chromosome set of the female gametophyte as the main target for the T-DNA.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Chromosomes*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Rhizobium / genetics
  • Transformation, Bacterial*
  • Transformation, Genetic*


  • DNA, Plant