Agrobacterium tumefaciens - From crown gall tumors to genetic transformation
Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology. 76 (2): 76-81
Păcurar DI, Thordal-Christensen H, Păcurar ML, Pamfil D, Botez C, Bellini C
The phytopathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is the causative agent of crown gall disease on a broad range of plant species. For more than a century this pathogen has fascinated biologists for various reasons. It has been believed that disclosing the mystery of the crown gall tumour disease in plants might help to understand the mechanisms of oncogenesis in general, and eventually use this knowledge to cure cancer in animals and humans. However, as the performer of the only known case of trans-kingdom DNA transfer, this natural genetic engineer is recognised by nowadays biologists particularly for this feature, and Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation has become the preferred method to generate transgenic plants. This review briefly highlights the key steps in DNA transfer during natural A. tumefaciens infection and the subsequent development of crown gall disease. It will focus on the adaptation and use of this proof of principle for the purpose of genetic transformation.
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