Induction of Cell Proliferation by Agrobacterium tumefaciens and A. Rhizogenes: A Parasite’s Point of View

  • Jacques Tempé
  • Annik Petit
  • Stephen K. Farrand
Part of the Plant Gene Research book series (GENE)


The crown gall and the hairy root diseases which affect dicotyledonous plants are caused by the pathogenic soil bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens and A. rhizogenes. In these organisms genes responsible for pathogenicity are borne on large plasmids (200–400 kb) called respectively Ti plasmids (Tumor inducing) and Ri plasmids (Root inducing) (Zaenen et al., 1974; Van Larebeke et al., 1974, 1975; Watson et al., 1975; White and Nester, 1980 a; Costantino et al., 1981; Chilton et al., 1982; Petit et al., 1983). Both diseases afflict crop plants and produce tumorous or rooty overgrowths which usually develop on the roots or at the crown of the plant, or more rarely on stems. In the laboratory, inoculation of a supsension of virulent bacteria produces typical symptoms (Fig. 1). The molecular basis for pathogenicity is the transfer, integration, and expression of a segment of Ti or Ri plasmid DNA into the nuclear genome of the host cells (Chilton et al., 1977, 1980, 1982; Schell et al., 1979; Lemmers et al., 1980; Thomashow et al., 1980; Willmitzer et al., 1980, 1982; Spano et al., 1982; White et al., 1982). This segment, called T-DNA (Transferred DNA) carries several genes which confer upon the plant cell a specific phenotype (Garfinkel et al., 1981; Willmitzer et al., 1982; Leemans et al., 1982, see also chapter 11).


Hairy Root Agrobacterium Tumefaciens Crown Gall Agrobacterium Rhizogenes Conjugative Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Tempé
    • 1
  • Annik Petit
    • 1
  • Stephen K. Farrand
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe de Recherche sur les Interactions entre Microorganismes et Plantes, Institut de MicrobiologieUniversité de Paris-SudOrsayFrance

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