Dicotyledonous plants (dicots) are the second major group of plants within the Angiospermae division (flowering plants with seeds protected in vessels). The other major group is the monocots.
In contrast to monocots, dicots have an embryo with two cotyledons, which give rise to two seed leaves. The mature leaves have veins in a net-like pattern, and the flowers have four or five parts.
Apart from cereals and grasses that belong to the monocot group, most of the fruits, vegetables, spices, roots and tubers, which constitute a very important part of our daily diet, are classified as dicots. In addition, all legumes, beverages such as coffee and cocoa, and a great variety of flowers, oil seeds, fibers, and woody plants belong to the dicot group.
Several patents encompass transformation of dicots, although they are mainly directed to the use of co-integrated vectors and binary vectors for the incorporation of foreign DNA into plants. A broad patent directed to transformation of dicots using an Agrobacterium strain lacking functional tumor genes was granted to Washington University. The invention teaches transformed dicot cells, regenerated plants and their progeny.
Only patents with broad claims reciting methods for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of dicot plants are presented here. Inventions directed to insertion of specific genes and generation of transformed plants exhibiting determined traits are beyond the scope and goal of this white paper.
The cited patents disclose inventions directed to general methods to obtain transgenic plants through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation from plant groups as diverse as pulses, vegetables, fiber crops, oil-producing crops and ornamental trees. The inventions cover aspects such as the initial tissue used for transformation, transformation protocols, media composition, and in some cases the insertion of particular genes into plants.
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