Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Antibiotic Resistance Genes and their Uses in Plant Genetic Transformation – Overview

The production of transgenic organisms usually involves the delivery of a construct containing DNA of interest accompanied by a selectable marker gene, often an antibiotic resistance gene.  This enables the selective destruction of cells not containing the introduced DNA.  Selection is thought to be necessary for delivery techniques in which only a minor fraction of the treated cells become transgenic.

About this technology landscape

  • This technology landscape was originally produced in 2003 by Carolina Roa−Rodríguez and Carol Nottenburg with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.  Certain sections of this landscape were updated in 2006 by Dr. Marie Connett Porceddu (dates noted on the pages).
  • Updating has been necessary because there have been changes in patent status since that time; for example, on the USPTO database Patent Application Information Retrieval, which can be found at, it can be seen that US Patent 6,255,560 has been allowed to lapse. Sometimes patent owners decide not to pay the annuity fees necessary to keep a patent in force. This patent claimed the use of a 35S promoter driving an antibiotic resistance gene, vectors containing such cassettes, and plants transformed with such cassettes. With the lapse of the patent, these cassettes and plants are no longer covered by valid claims of this patent. However, US Patent6,174,724, whose claims dominate some of what was claimed in US Patent 6,255,560, is still in force. New patents may also have issued. If you notice that information in this landscape needs updating, help the community by posting in our Discussion Forum so that others will be aware of the information.
  • Production by “The Team”