This post was contributed by Laura Lee, a graduate student at Stanford University.
Arabidopsis is a fantastic model organism for many reasons, not the least of which is ease of transformation. There are many motivations to generate transgenic Arabidopsis, from studying transcriptional and translational dynamics of genes and proteins in living plants, to complementing mutant phenotypes. Arabidopsis is amenable to the floral drip or dip transformation method. The general steps for this method include:
- Cloning and transforming a plasmid into the bacterium Agrobacterium tumeficans - a plant pathogenic species that stably integrates transfer DNA (tDNA) into the genomes of the plants it attacks
- Growing the transformed agrobacterium culture
- Dipping your plant’s flowers in the agrobacterium culture to allow for tDNA insertions into the plant’s germline
- Selecting for seeds that have the tDNA insertions (usually via seed growth on antibiotic-containing media)