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Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Jun;217(2-3):309-16.

DNA transfer from Agrobacterium to Zea mays or Brassica by agroinfection is dependent on bacterial virulence functions.

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Friedrich Miescher-Institut, Basel, Switzerland.


DNA transfer from Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a soil bacterium, to the non-host graminaceous monocotyle-donous plant Zea mays, was analysed using the recently developed technique of agroinfection. Agroinfection of Z. mays with maize streak virus using strains of A. tumefaciens carrying mutations in the pTiC58 virulence region showed an almost absolute dependence on the products of the bacterial virC genes. In contrast, agroinfection of the control host Brassica rapa with cauliflower mosaic virus was less dependent on the virC gene products. In other respects, the basic mechanism of the plant-bacterium interaction was found to be similar. While intact virA, B, D and G functions were absolutely necessary, mutants in virE were attenuated. Agroinfection of maize was effective in the absence of an exogenously supplied vir gene inducer, and indeed wounded Z. mays tissues were found to produce substance(s) which induced the expression of A. tumefaciens vir genes. These findings are discussed in the light of current knowledge about the function of Agrobacterium vir genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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