An adapter ligation-mediated PCR method for high-throughput mapping of T-DNA inserts in the Arabidopsis genome

Nat Protoc. 2007;2(11):2910-7. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2007.425.


Agrobacterium transfer DNA (T-DNA) is an effective plant mutagen that has been used to create sequence-indexed T-DNA insertion lines in Arabidopsis thaliana as a tool to study gene function. Creating T-DNA insertion lines requires a dependable method for locating the site of insertion in the genome. In this protocol, we describe an adapter ligation-mediated PCR method that we have used to screen a mutant library and identify over 150,000 T-DNA insertional mutants; the method can also be applied to map individual mutants. The procedure consists of three steps: a restriction enzyme-mediated ligation of an adapter to the genomic DNA; a PCR amplification of the T-DNA/genomic DNA junction with primers specific to the adapter and T-DNA; and sequencing of the T-DNA/genomic junction to enable mapping to the reference genome. In most cases, the sequenced genomic region extends to the T-DNA border, enabling the exact location of the insert to be identified. The entire process takes 2 weeks to complete.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry*
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • T-DNA