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Plasmid. 1990 Mar;23(2):85-106.

Molecular characterization of the vir regulon of Agrobacterium tumefaciens: complete nucleotide sequence and gene organization of the 28.63-kbp regulon cloned as a single unit.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616.


The entire vir regulon of Agrobacterium tumefaciens was subcloned and the complete 28.6-kbp nucleotide sequence was determined. The regulon was cloned as a single unit into two replicons, one of which replicates at a high copy number in this bacterium, and a second which has broad-host-range features to replicate in other Gram-negative bacteria. These vir region plasmids are able to confer in trans the processing and transfer activities on a second plasmid containing the T-DNA. In the high copy number vir region plasmid pUCD2614, a moderate increase in basal vir gene expression was observed as judged by virE::cat fusion expression assays relative to the wild-type control plasmid. Furthermore, higher efficiencies of tobacco leaf disk transformation were observed than with the widely used vir helper plasmid pAL4404. The nucleotide sequence studies showed that the vir region consists of 28,631 bp comprising 24 open reading frames which encode proteins involved in tumorigenicity. Two open reading frames not previously characterized, virH and ORF5, were uncovered within the virD/virE intervening spacer region. Together these studies more completely characterize the structure and function of the vir regulon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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