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Genetically Engineered Plants Occur in Large Scale Naturally
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: October 22, 2019 07:23AM

Horizontal gene transfer caused by Agrobacterium was found to occur in 39
dicot species. These findings prove that transgenic plants occur in nature
on unexpectedly large scale. The results are published in Plant Molecular

Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer cause formation of crown galls or hairy
roots, due to the expression of transfer DNA (T-DNA) genes. When the
transformed cells regenerate naturally, transformants carrying the cellular
T-DNA (cT-DNA) are developed. This type of horizontal gene transfer could
contribute to plant evolution. However, there is no concrete evidence yet to
make generalizations about the role of bacteria in plant evolution. Thus,
researchers at St. Petersburg State University in Russia and Institut de
Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes in France conducted a study to search for
T-DNA-like genes in the genomes of monocots and dicots. They found that
cT-DNAs were found in 23 out of 275 dicots, which include those belonging to
the genera Eutrema, Arachis, Nissolia, Quillaja, Euphorbia, Parasponia,
Trema, Humulus, Psidium, Eugenia, Juglans, Azadirachta, Silene, Dianthus,
Vaccinium, Camellia, and Cuscuta. Transcriptome data of 256 dicot species
showed that 16 more are naturally transgenic species. For the monocots,
T-DNA-like sequences were also found in greater yam and banana.

The identified natural transgenics could help on future research about the
function of Agrobacterium-derived genes in plant evolution.


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