J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (4): 367-373.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2009.00821.x

• Cell and Developmental Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Non-canonical Transferred DNA Insertion at the BRI1 Locus in Arabidopsis thaliana

Zhong Zhao2,†, Yan Zhu2,‡, Mathieu Erhardt2, Ying Ruan1* and Wen-Hui Shen2*   

  1. 1Pre-National Laboratory of Crop Germplasm Innovation and Utilization, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128, China
    2Institut de Biologie Moléulaire des Plantes du CNRS (UPR 2357), Universitéde Strasbourg (UdS), 12 rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Strasbourg cedex, France
    Present address: Department of Stem Cell Biology, Institut für Zoologie, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 230, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    Present address: State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China


Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is widely used in transgenic plant engineering and has been proven to be a powerful tool for insertional mutagenesis of the plant genome. The transferred DNA (T-DNA) from Agrobacterium is integrated into the plant genome through illegitimate recombination between the T-DNA and the plant DNA. Contrasting to the canonical insertion, here we report on a locus showing a complex mutation associated with T-DNA insertion at the BRI1 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. We obtained a mutant line, named salade for its phenotype of dwarf stature and proliferating rosette.Molecular characterization of thismutant revealed that in addition to T-DNA a non-T-DNA-localized transposon from bacteria was inserted in the Arabidopsis genome and that a region of more than 11.5 kb of the Arabidopsis genome was deleted at the insertion site. The deleted region contains the brassinosteroid receptor gene BRI1 and the transcription factor gene WRKY13. Our finding reveals non-canonical T-DNA insertion, implicating horizontal gene transfer and cautioning the use of T-DNA as mutagen in transgenic research.

Zhao Z, Zhu Y, Erhardt M, Ruan Y, Shen WH (2009) A non-canonical transferred DNA insertion at the BRI1 locus in Arabidopsis thaliana.  J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(4), 367–373.

Key words: Agrobacterium, Arabidopsis, BRI1, gene flux, transposon Tn5393, T-DNA, transformation.

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