Characterization of transgene loci in plants using FISH: A picture is worth a thousand words
Microprojectile bombardment to deliver DNA into plant cells represents a major breakthrough in the development of plant transformation technologies and accordingly has resulted in transformation of numerous species considered recalcitrant to Agrobacterium- or protoplast-mediated transformation methods. This article attempts to review the current understanding of the molecular and genetic behavior of transgenes introduced by microprojectile bombardment. The characteristic features of the transgene integration pattern resulting from DNA delivery via microprojectile bombardment include integration of the full length transgene as well as rearranged copies of the introduced DNA. Copy number of both the transgene and rearranged fragments is often highly variable. Most frequently the multiple transgene copies and rearranged fragments are inherited as a single locus. However, a variable proportion of transgenic events produced by microprojectile bombardment exhibit Mendelian ratios for monogenic and digenic segregation vs events exhibiting segregation distortion. The potential mechanisms underlying these observations are discussed.