Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a species of bacteria that causes tumors (commonly known as 'galls' or 'crown galls') in dicots (Smith et al., 1907). This Gram-negative bacterium causes crown gall by inserting a small segment of DNA (known as the T-DNA, for 'transfer DNA') into the plant cell, which is incorporated at a semi-random location into the plant genome.
Agrobacterium is an alpha proteobacterium of the family Rhizobiaceae, which includes the nitrogen fixing legume symbionts. Unlike the nitrogen fixing symbionts, tumor producing Agrobacterium are parasitic and do not benefit the plant. The wide variety of plants affected by Agrobacterium makes it of great concern to the agriculture industry (Moore et al., 1997).
Note that Agrobacterium is not the only or most common source of galls on plants. Many are caused by insect larvae that secrete plant growth hormones and have the same effect.
- Join up and contribute.
- Improving and expanding a Biotechnology stub.
- Creating an article about Biotechnology: