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AGROBACTERIUM AND PLANT GENES INVOLVED IN T-DNA TRANSFER AND INTEGRATION.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1392; e-mail: gelvin@bilbo.bio.purdue.edu

Abstract

The phytopathogenic bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens genetically transforms plants by transferring a portion of the resident Ti-plasmid, the T-DNA, to the plant. Accompanying the T-DNA into the plant cell is a number of virulence (Vir) proteins. These proteins may aid in T-DNA transfer, nuclear targeting, and integration into the plant genome. Other virulence proteins on the bacterial surface form a pilus through which the T-DNA and the transferred proteins may translocate. Although the roles of these virulence proteins within the bacterium are relatively well understood, less is known about their roles in the plant cell. In addition, the role of plant-encoded proteins in the transformation process is virtually unknown. In this article, I review what is currently known about the functions of virulence and plant proteins in several aspects of the Agrobacterium transformation process.

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