Capture of genomic and T-DNA sequences during double-strand break repair in somatic plant cells

EMBO J. 1998 Oct 15;17(20):6086-95. doi: 10.1093/emboj/17.20.6086.


To analyze genomic changes resulting from double-strand break (DSB) repair, transgenic tobacco plants were obtained that carried in their genome a restriction site of the rare cutting endonuclease I-SceI within a negative selectable marker gene. After induction of DSB repair via Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression of I-SceI, plant cells were selected that carried a loss-of-function phenotype of the marker. Surprisingly, in addition to deletions, in a number of cases repair was associated with the insertion of unique and repetitive genomic sequences into the break. Thus, DSB repair offers a mechanism for spreading different kinds of sequences into new chromosomal positions. This may have evolutionary consequences particularly for plants, as genomic alterations occurring in meristem cells can be transferred to the next generation. Moreover, transfer DNA (T-DNA), carrying the open reading frame of I-SceI, was found in several cases to be integrated into the transgenic I-SceI site. This indicates that DSB repair also represents a pathway for the integration of T-DNA into the plant genome.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cytosine Deaminase
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • DNA Repair / physiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Nucleoside Deaminases / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / cytology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Rhizobium / genetics
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Tobacco / cytology
  • Tobacco / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • T-DNA
  • Nucleoside Deaminases
  • Cytosine Deaminase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF061073
  • GENBANK/AF061074
  • GENBANK/AF061075
  • GENBANK/AF061076
  • GENBANK/AF061077
  • GENBANK/AF061078