Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotechnology

Edited by Eugene Nester, Milton P. Gordon, and Allen Kerr 
APS Press  October 2004  

hardcover  336 pages, 235 b+w illus  ISBN 0890543224      £110.00

This anthology traces the fascinating progress from plant pathology to biotechnology through 38 scientific papers on Agrobacterium, published over the past century. Included are the seminal scientific papers on the biology and application of Agrobacterium with introductory commentaries mostly by those involved in the original work. The commentaries give background to the papers and explain the problems faced and the techniques used, providing insight into the way fundamental research progresses.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens has played a major role in the astounding advances that have been made over the past several decades in the areas of plant genetics, plant molecular biology, and plant genetic engineering. The papers included in this book were integral to the current understanding of the interaction of Agrobacterium with its hosts, its development into a major player in the genetic engineering of plants, and the biological control of crown gall.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotechnology is divided into five sections. The first section begins with 1904 when Erwin F. Smith began detailed work on crown gall and considered it to be a plant pathological problem. It explores many of the biological discoveries made over the past century, including the pivotal moment when Armin C. Braun discovered that crown gall was a plant cancer. Other papers cover the beginnings of T-DNA research and the development of vectors to improve the process of transferring T-DNA from bacterium to plant cell. The second section delves further into vector systems and genetic coding for disease and insect resistance, exploring the evolution of genetic engineering in crops.

The final three sections deal with themes developed from crown gall studies, including quorum sensing or population density, the DNA sequencing of one strain of A. tumefaciens, and the first genetically engineered organism, strain K1026, released for commercial use.

According to Editor, Eugene Nester, "This book should serve as a testimony to the 100 years of research on this remarkable organism, as well as to an international group of investigators who helped reveal secrets of this natural genetic engineer."

Students, professors, plant pathologists, microbiologists, or anyone interested in research and/or the history of plant pathology and biotechnology, will find this collection of papers an intriguing read.

From the Preface: the journey is not over. As the commentary by Paul Hooykaas indicates, it looks as though T-DNA will insert into any cell, be it plant, fungal or even mammalian. Is there a possibility of using Agro¬bacterium in gene therapy? Will Agrobacterium prove to be as useful a tool in fungal genetics as it has been in plant genetics? Its potential is mind-boggling.


Biology of Agrobacterium tumefaciens: CENTURY OF PIONEERING WORK BEGINS; ARMIN C. BRAUN AND THE DISCOVERY OF AGROBACTERIUM-MEDIATED TRANSFORMATION OF PLANT CELLS; TREASURE THE UNEXPECTED; GEORGE MICHEL MOREL (1916-1973): CHEMIST, BOTANIST, PLANT TISSUE CULTURE PIONEER; LOSS OF TUMOR-INDUCING ABILITY; DISCOVERY OF THE Ti PLASMID; A PLASMID WAS PRESENT AFTER ALL; MY LIFE WITH PHYTOHORMONES: Stable incorporation of plasmid DNA into higher plant cells; I'M CERTAINLY GLAD I WAS THERE: Foreign DNA of bacterial plasmid origin is transcribed in crown gall tumors; AN ADVENTURE IN AGROBACTERIOLOGY: The functional organization of the nopaline A. tumefaciens plasmid; WOW!!! THE T-DNA IS INTEGRATED: Integration and organization of Ti plasmid sequences in crown gall tumors; WHEN TOOTHPICKS MATTERED: USING MICROBIAL GENETICS AND TRANSPOSON TAGGINGTO MAP THE T-DNA: Genetic analysis of crown gall: Fine structure map of the T-DNA by site-directed mutagenesis; CROSS, COUNT AND CALCULATE! T-DNA SATISFIES MENDELIAN RULES; HOW DOES AGROBACTERIUM 'KNOW' WHAT IS T-DNA ON THE Ti PLASMID: Short direct repeats flank the T-DNA on a nopaline Ti plasmid; SUCH A CLEVER BUG: Identification of the signal molecules produced by wounded plant cells that activate T-DNA transfer in Agrobacterium tumefacien; EARLY EVENTS IN THE T-DNA TRANSFER PROCESS: The virD operon of Agrobacterium tumefaciens encodes a site-specific endonuclease; VirD TARGETS T-DNA INTO THE PLANT NUCLEUS; FROM PLANT PATHOGEN TO VECTOR FOR PLANTS, YEASTS, AND FUNGI: Trans-kingdom T-DNA transfer from Agrobacterium tumefaciens to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Application of A. tumefaciens in Genetic Engineering: A RECKLESS DECISION: The Agro€bacterium tumefaciens Ti plasmid as a host vector system for introducing foreign DNA in plant cells.; SHRINKING THE Ti PLASMID: Mini-Ti: A new vector strategy for plant genetic engineering.; THE FIRST TUMORLESS TRANSFORMED PLANT WAS TREATED WITH UTMOST CARE: Ti plasmid vector for the introduction of DNA into plant cells without alteration of their normal regeneration capacity; FOREIGN GENES CAN BE EXPRESSED IN PLANT CELLS: Expression of chimaeric genes transferred into plant cells using a Ti-plasmid-derived vector; THERE WERE MULTIPLE TRANSFORMANTS ON EACH PLATE: Agrobacterium-mediated trans€formation of germinating seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana; AGROBACTERIUM INFECTS MAIZE, AFTER ALL!: Agrobacterium-mediated delivery of infectious maize streak virus into maize plants; THE UPS AND DOWNS OF Bt GENE EXPRESSION IN PLANTS; TRANSFORMATION OF CEREALS BY AGROBACTERIUM: Efficient transformation of rice (Oryza sativa L.) mediated by Agrobacterium and sequence analysis of the boundaries of the T-DNA. Quorum Sensing: TraR AND AAI: AUTOINDUCTION GOES MAINSTREAM: Agrobacterium conjugation and gene regulation by N-acyl-l-homoserine lactones; DNA Sequencing: GOING AFTER THE WHOLE GENOME FROM TWO DIFFERENT ANGLES; Biological Control of Crown Gall: WE HAVE A STRANGE NEW BACTERIOCIN THAT CONTROLS CROWN GALL: Biological control of crown gall: Seed and root inoculation. Agrocin 84 is a 6-N-phosphoramidate of an adenine nucleotide analogue.

To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
American Phytopathological Society : Autumn 2004 : bacteriology : biological control : biotechnology : genetically modified organisms : genetics : maize : molecular biology : mycology : plant pathology : plant science

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