Abstract

Crown gall tumors are induced in plants by infection with the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Because the tumor induction involves transfer of a portion of the tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid DNA from the bacterium to the plant cells, this system is of interest for the study of genetic exchange as well as tumor induction. The boundaries of the transferred DNA (T-DNA) have been cloned from transformed plant cells of tobacco. Detailed mapping with restriction enzymes and nucleotide sequence analysis of two independent clones were used to study the molecular structure of the ends of the T-DNA. One clone contains the two ends of the T-DNA joined together; the other contains one end of the T-DNA joined to repetitive plant DNA sequences. These studies provide direct evidence that the T-DNA can be integrated into the plant genome. In addition, the data suggest that in the plant, T-DNA can be tandemly repeated. Sequence analysis of the junction of crown gall clone 1 reveals several direct repeats as well as an inverted repeat; these structures may be involved in the transfer of the DNA from Agrobacterium to plant cells.

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