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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2006 Apr;17(2):147-54. Epub 2006 Feb 3.

Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of plants: biology and biotechnology.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation is the dominant technology used for the production of genetically modified transgenic plants. Extensive research aimed at understanding and improving the molecular machinery of Agrobacterium responsible for the generation and transport of the bacterial DNA into the host cell has resulted in the establishment of many recombinant Agrobacterium strains, plasmids and technologies currently used for the successful transformation of numerous plant species. Unlike the role of bacterial proteins, the role of host factors in the transformation process has remained obscure for nearly a century of Agrobacterium research, and only recently have we begun to understand how Agrobacterium hijacks host factors and cellular processes during the transformation process. The identification of such factors and studies of these processes hold great promise for the future of plant biotechnology and plant genetic engineering, as they might help in the development of conceptually new techniques and approaches needed today to expand the host range of Agrobacterium and to control the transformation process and its outcome during the production of transgenic plants.

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