The Genetic and Chemical Basis of Recognition in the Agrobacterium: Plant Interaction

  • A. N. Binns
  • V. R. Howitz
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 192)


Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a gram-negative soil bacterium that causes crown gall tumors on a broad spectrum of dicotyledonous plants (for reviews see: BINNS and THOMASHOW 1988; WINANS 1992; ZAMBRYSKI 1992) . This pathogenic response results from the activities of a large tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid that resides in many but not all agrobacteria found in the rhizosphere. The infection and transformation process is a complex series of interactions between host and pathogen that ultimately leads to the transfer of DNA (the T-DNA) from the Ti plasmid into the plant cell where it is integrated into the nuclear genome. Expression of this T-DNA results in the production of two classes of protein products: (1) enzymes that synthesize plant hormones capable of stimulating continuous cell division in the transformed cells and (2) enzymes that synthesize unique amino acid:sugar acid conjugates, termed opines, that are not metabolizable by the host cell but are metabolized by the inciting bacterium, providing it with a dedicated nitrogen and carbon source.


Agrobacterium Tumefaciens Receiver Domain Periplasmic Domain Sugar Enhancement Agrobacterium Virulence Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. N. Binns
    • 1
  • V. R. Howitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Science Institute, Department of BiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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