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Alan McHughen mchughen at herald.usask.ca
Mon Feb 6 15:57:06 EST 1995

Ellen Sutter (egsutter at UCDAVIS.EDU) wrote:
: On 1 Feb 1995, Robert McGehee wrote:

: > Agrobacterium inserts part of its DNA (plasma) into a plant's cell
: > giving it different characteristics.  Does agrobacterium
: > tumifaciens (Crown Gall Disease) alter a cell in the 
: > above way to form a gall?
: > 
: > 
: Yes - Apparently it inserts a gene that produces large amounts of 
: hormones in the plant which in turn cause the formation of the gall 
: characteristic of crown gall.  

Agrobacterium tumefaciens transfers a part of its DNA (plasma???) 
into a susceptible plant host cell. This "T-DNA" contains several genes, 
some of which regulate the production of natural plant growth substances. 
The plant cells grow into the tumorous gall in response to the auxin and 
cytokinin (growth substances) produced by the transformed plant cell.
The T-DNA becomes a permanent part of the plant's own DNA.  
Thus, Agrobacterium is a naturally occurring genetic engineering agent!

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