Embryonic lethals and T-DNA insertional mutagenesis in Arabidopsis

Deena Errampalli, David Patton, Linda Castle, Leigh Mickelson, Karl Hansen, Jennifer Schnall, Kenneth Feldmann, David Meinke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


T-DNA insertional mutagenesis represents a promising approach to the molecular isolation of genes with essential functions during plant embryo development. We describe in this report the isolation and characterization of 18 mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana defective in embryo development following seed transformation with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Random T-DNA insertion was expected to result in a high frequency of recessive embryonic lethals because many target genes are required for embryogenesis. The cointegrate Ti plasmid used in these experiments contained the nopaline synthase and neomycin phosphotransferase gene markers. Nopaline assays and resistance to kanamycin were used to estimate the number of functional inserts present in segregating families. Nine families appeared to contain a T-DNA insert either within or adjacent to the mutant gene. Eight families were clearly not tagged with a functional insert and appeared instead to contain mutations induced during the transformation process. DNA gel blot hybridization with internal and right border probes revealed a variety of rearrangements associated with T-DNA insertion. A general strategy is presented to simplify the identification of tagged embryonic mutants and facilitate the molecular isolation of genes required for plant embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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