In general, these vectors are constructed by recombining an Agrobacterium Ti plasmid lacking tumor-causing genes (“disarmed” Ti plasmid) and a small vector plasmid, which is engineered to carry a gene of interest between a right and a left T-DNA border of the T-DNA region (engineered or modified T-DNA region). Recombination takes place through a single crossover event between a homologous region present in both plasmids.
Although co-integrated vectors have become less popular in recent years due to some difficulties encountered in engineering them, they are still used to a certain extent when modified, for example, to allow site-specific recombination of the plasmids within the Agrobacterium genome.
The granted patents and patent applications directed to methods and components for the assembling of co-integrated vectors presented under this section are divided as follows:
- Patents on basic vectors and methods. This group encompasses granted patents and patent applications directed to the basic forms of co-integrated vectors, including the primary elements of the plasmids that recombine and basic methods for their assembling.
- Patents on modified vectors and methods. This group includes granted patents and patent applications directed to improved co-integrated vectors and methods for their use.