Cytoskeletal dynamics in interphase, mitosis and cytokinesis analysed through Agrobacterium-mediated transient transformation of tobacco BY-2 cells


Author for correspondence:
H. Buschmann
Tel: +44 1603 450135


  • Transient transformation with Agrobacterium is a widespread tool allowing rapid expression analyses in plants. However, the available methods generate expression in interphase and do not allow the routine analysis of dividing cells. Here, we present a transient transformation method (termed ‘TAMBY2’) to enable cell biological studies in interphase and cell division.
  • Agrobacterium-mediated transient gene expression in tobacco BY-2 was analysed by Western blotting and quantitative fluorescence microscopy. Time-lapse microscopy of cytoskeletal markers was employed to monitor cell division. Double-labelling in interphase and mitosis enabled localization studies.
  • We found that the transient transformation efficiency was highest when BY-2/Agrobacterium co-cultivation was performed on solid medium. Transformants produced in this way divided at high frequency. We demonstrated the utility of the method by defining the behaviour of a previously uncharacterized microtubule motor, KinG, throughout the cell cycle.
  • Our analyses demonstrated that TAMBY2 provides a flexible tool for the transient transformation of BY-2 with Agrobacterium. Fluorescence double-labelling showed that KinG localizes to microtubules and to F-actin. In interphase, KinG accumulates on microtubule lagging ends, suggesting a minus-end-directed function in vivo. Time-lapse studies of cell division showed that GFP-KinG strongly labels preprophase band and phragmoplast, but not the metaphase spindle.