Agrobacterium tumefaciens‐mediated Transformation of Plant Cells

Abstract

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a Gram‐negative soil bacterium that causes plant tumours by transferring a portion of DNA from a resident ‘tumour inducing’ (Ti) plasmid into plant cells where it is integrated into a plant chromosome and expressed. This bacteria's capacity for DNA transfer is the basis of most current plant genetic engineering and make it a model system for the study of pathogenic bacteria that transfer virulence factors to any eukaryotic cell.

Keywords: agrobacterium tumefaciens; ti plasmid; DNA transfer; plant genetic engineering; crown gall tumours

Figure 1.

Kalanchoe daigremontia leaves were scratched with a sterile needle and infected with Agrobacterium tumefaciens carrying a Ti plasmid (A, B, C) or lacking a Ti plasmid (D). Photograph taken 4 weeks after infection.

Figure 2.

Diagram of the Ti plasmid, illustrating the relative locations of the T‐DNA, the border sequences (>), the virulence (vir) region, the conjugal transfer (tra) regions and the opine catabolism (occ) region.

Figure 3.

Steps in Agrobacterium‐mediated DNA transfer into a plant cell.

Figure 4.

The chemical composition of some well‐characterized opines.

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Further Reading

Binns AN and Howitz VR (1994) The genetic and chemical basis of host recognition by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology 192: 119–138.

Christie PJ (1997) Agrobacterium tumefaciens T‐complex transport apparatus: a paradigm for a new family of multifunctional transporters in Eubacteria. Journal of Bacteriology 179: 3085–3094.

Kado CI (1998) Agrobacterium‐mediated horizontal gene transfer. Genetic Engineering 20: 1–24.

Spaink H, Kondorosi A and Hooykaas PJJ (eds) (1998) The Rhizobiaceae. Dordrecht: Kluwer Press.

Winans SC, Burns DL and Christie PJ (1996) Adaptation of a conjugal transfer system for the export of pathogenic macromolecules. Trends in Microbiology 4: 64–68.

Zupan J and Zambryski P (1997) The Agrobacterium DNA transfer complex. Critical Reviews in Plant Science 16: 279–295.

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How to Cite close
Binns, Andrew, and Campbell, Angela(Apr 2001) Agrobacterium tumefaciens‐mediated Transformation of Plant Cells. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001492]