Delivery of T-DNA from the Agrobacterium tumefaciens chromosome into plant cells

EMBO J. 1984 Nov;3(11):2485-90.


The intact T-region of the B6Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens was stepwise cloned into a site in transposon Tn3. In this way a suitable vehicle (Tn1882) was obtained for translocating the T-region to different replicons, i.e., to other plasmids or the chromosome. The IncP plasmid R772::Tn1882 conferred tumorigenicity on Agrobacterium if the virulence genes were provided in trans in the same cell. This result showed that the T-region present on Tn1882 was transferred efficiently to plant cells. Normal tumor development also occurred if the T-region was placed in the chromosome of A. tumefaciens and an R' plasmid was present carrying virA-E or virA-F. We conclude that the plasmid location of the T-region is not a prerequisite for transfer to the plant cell. The apparently normal delivery of the T-DNA from a bacterial chromosomal location supports a model involving a processing step within Agrobacterium effecting transfer of the T-region as a separate entity.