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Genes into Plants Using the Ti-plasmid

Does conjugation occur in eukaryotes? Conjugation was first described about 60 years ago. For most of that time it has been thought to be an almost strictly bacterial process in which a plasmid is transferred from one prokaryotic to another. However, conjugation is completely driven by the cell producing the plasmid. There was no theoretical reason that plasmid could not be transferred by a bacterial cell into a eukaryotic cell. The system described in this animation is the only known naturally occurring bacteria – eukaryote conjugation. As a result the Agrobacterium system has been used in a variety of genetic engineering studies. Conjugation between bacteria and yeast and bacteria and animal cells have been induced in the laboratory.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.

1Cloned genes are first inserted within the _____ to generate a transgenic plant.
A)the Agrobacterium genome
B)the plant genome
C)the Ti plasmid
D)chloroplasts of the plant

2The cloned gene of interest is inserted where in the Ti plasmid?
A)just prior to the T-DNA
B)within the T-DNA
C)anywhere in the plasmid
D)cloned genes are not inserted into the plasmid

3Using this procedure, it is possible to produce a transgenic plant that contains the gene of interest ________.
A)in the original cell only
B)in the tumors
C)in all of the cells of the plant
D)none of the above

4In the natural world, the T-DNA of the Ti plasmid is used to form a tumor on a plant.

5To form a transgenic plant, researchers would select those plants that have had tumors created by an Agrobacterium tumefaciens infection.

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