Segregation of genes transferred to one plant cell from two separate Agrobacterium strains. Academic Article uri icon


  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Agrobacterium rhizogenes are soil bacteria which transfer DNA (T-DNA) to plant cells. Two Agrobacterium strains, each with a different T-DNA, can infect plants and give rise to transformed tissue which has markers from both T-DNAs. Although marker genes from both T-DNAs are in the tissue, definitive proof that the tissue is a cellular clone and that both T-DNAs are in a single cell is necessary to demonstrate cotransformation. We have transferred two distinguishable T-DNAs, carried on binary vectors in separate Agrobacterium rhizogenes strains, into tomato cells and have recovered hairy roots which received both T-DNAs. Continued expression of marker genes from each T-DNA in hairy roots propagated from individual root tips indicated that both T-DNAs were present in a single meristem. Also, we have transferred the two different T-DNAs, carried on identical binary vector plasmids in separate Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains, into tobacco cells and recovered plants which received both T-DNAs. Transformed plants with marker genes from each T-DNA were outcrossed to wild-type tobacco plants. Distribution of the markers in the F1 generation from three cotransformed plants of independent origin showed that both T-DNAs in the plants must have been present in the same cell and that the T-DNAs were genetically unlinked. Cotransformation of plant cells with T-DNAs from two bacterial strains and subsequent segregation of the transferred genes should be useful for altering the genetic content of higher plants.

published proceedings

  • Plant Mol Biol

altmetric score

  • 9.5

author list (cited authors)

  • McKnight, T. D., Lillis, M. T., & Simpson, R. B.

citation count

  • 116

complete list of authors

  • McKnight, TD||Lillis, MT||Simpson, RB

publication date

  • November 1987