Friedrich Miescher-Institute, P.O. Box 2543, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
The VirD2 protein of Agrobacterium tumefaciens contains defined sequences necessary for processing and transferring the T-DNA during transformation of plant cells. We performed a mutational analysis of the conserved omega sequence of VirD2, whose role has proven to be difficult to elucidate so far. In this report, we show that a deletion of these 5 amino acids or their replacement by 5 glycines reduced T-DNA transfer considerably, compared with wild type, demonstrating that the omega sequence is important for the efficient transfer of T-DNAs. However, the efficiency and pattern of integration of the T-DNAs were not affected by any modifications of the omega sequence. The importance of the C terminus of VirD2 for T-DNA transfer is discussed.