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March 5, 2000


re: re: Does plant genome contains foreign DNA?


>>Here is a question for AbBioView readers. Is there DNA evidence that the
>>plant genome contains foreign DNA? I can think of retrotransposons which
>>may by their movement activate endogenous genes and certainly this is
>>happening as an integral part of evolution. There is of course the DNA of
>>ancient endosymbionts, some of which is now in the nucleus. Are there
>>other examples for the incorporation of DNA other than in pathogenicity
>>(eg Agrobacterium)?

The reverse may also be true: Back in 1983 (!) we published a paper in Plant Science Letters (32)-333, that the glutamine synthetase II in Rhizobium and Agrobacterium is remarkable similar to the GS found in plants, such as Pisum. A few years late it was reported by others that indeed on DNA sequence level the two genes show remarkable similarity. Since the ocurrence of GSII is quite unique in Rhizobium and Agrobacterium, one would suppose an evolutionary relationship between the bacterial / plant genes, and therefore consider geneflow from plant to bacterium.

Gert de Vries