A simple and efficient protocol for generating transgenic hairy roots using Agrobacterium rhizogenes

Shaun Ferguson*, Nikolaj B. Abel*, Dugald Reid, Lene H. Madsen, Thi Bich Luu, Kasper R. Andersen, Jens Stougaard, Simona Radutoiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


For decades, Agrobacterium rhizogenes (now Rhizobium rhizogenes), the causative agent of hairy root disease, has been harnessed as an interkingdom DNA delivery tool for generating transgenic hairy roots on a wide variety of plants. One of the strategies involves the construction of transconjugant R. rhizogenes by transferring gene(s) of interest into previously constructed R. rhizogenes pBR322 acceptor strains; little has been done, however, to improve upon this system since its implementation. We developed a simplified method utilising bi-parental mating in conjunction with effective counterselection for generating R. rhizogenes transconjugants. Central to this was the construction of a new Modular Cloning (MoClo) compatible pBR322-derived integration vector (pIV101). Although this protocol remains limited to pBR322 acceptor strains, pIV101 facilitated an efficient construction of recombinant vectors, effective screening of transconjugants, and RP4-based mobilisation compatibility that enabled simplified conjugal transfer. Transconjugants from this system were tested on Lotus japonicus and found to be efficient for the transformation of transgenic hairy roots and supported infection of nodules by a rhizobia symbiont. The expedited protocol detailed herein substantially decreased both the time and labour for creating transconjugant R. rhizogenes for the subsequent transgenic hairy root transformation of Lotus, and it could readily be applied for the transformation of other plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0291680
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


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