Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB and Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052 Gent, Belgium
To evaluate the chromosomal background of different Agrobacterium strains on floral dip transformation frequency, eight wild-type Agrobacterium strains, provided by Laboratorium voor Microbiologie Gent (LMG) and classified in different genomic groups, were compared with the commonly used Agrobacterium strains C58C1 Rifr (pMP90) and LBA4404 in Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia (Col-0) and C24 ecotypes. The C58C1 Rifr chromosomal background in combination with the pMP90 virulence plasmid showed high Col-0 floral dip transformation frequencies (0.76 to 1.57%). LMG201, which is genetically close to the Agrobacterium C58 strain, with the same virulence plasmid showed comparable or even higher transformation frequencies (1.22 to 2.28%), whereas the LBA4404 strain displayed reproducibly lower transformation frequencies (<0.2%). All other tested LMG Agrobacterium chromosomal backgrounds had transformation frequencies between those of the C58C1 Rifr (pMP90) and LBA4404 reference strains. None of the strains could transform the C24 ecotype with a frequency higher than 0.1%. Strikingly, all Arabidopsis Col-0 floral dip transformation experiments showed a high transformation variability from plant to plant (even more than 50-fold) within and across the performed biological repeats for all analyzed Agrobacterium strains. Therefore, the physiology of the plant and, probably, the availability of competent flowers to be transformed determine, to a large extent, floral dip transformation frequencies.