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Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotech
Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotech

“… this book really grabbed me and I got a great deal of enjoyment from reading it. The editors are to be congratulated on reproducing their enthusiasm for research and the joy of discovery.”
—Microbiology Today

Item No. 43224
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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 in the biology and application of Agrobacterium with several introductory commentaries by those involved in the original work. The commentaries give background to the papers, 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 diseases 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 accomplishment of DNA sequencing on 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.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotechnology


Biology of Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Century of Pioneering Work Begins

A plant-tumor of bacterial origin

Armin C. Braun and the Discovery of Agrobacterium-mediated Transformation of Plant Cells

Crown gall production by bacteria-free tumor tissues
Studies on the inactivation of the tumor-inducing principle in crown gall

Treasure the Unexpected

Transfer of virulence between isolates of Agrobacterium

George Michel Morel (1916–1973): Chemist, Botanist, Plant Tissue Culture Pioneer

Recherches sur les guanidines des tissus de crown gall: Mise en évidence d’une relation bio-chimique spècifique entre les souches d’Agrobacterium tumefaciens et les tumeurs qu’elles induisent

Loss of Tumor-inducing Ability

The loss of tumor-initiating ability in Agrobacterium tumefaciens by incubation at high temperature

Discovery of the Ti Plasmid

Acquisition of tumour-inducing ability by non-oncogenic agrobacteria as a result of plasmid transfer

Plasmid was Present After All

Plasmid required for virulence of Agrobacterium tumefaciens

My Life with Phytohormones

Stable incorporation of plasmid DNA into higher plant cells: The molecular basis of crown gall tumorigenesis

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 pTiC58

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 Tagging to 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

Mendelian transmission of genes introduced into plants by the Ti plasmids of Agrobacterium tumefaciens

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
Generation of single-stranded T-DNA molecules during the initial stages of T-DNA transfer from Agrobacterium tumefaciens to plant cells

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

A bacterial peptide acting as a plant nuclear targeting signal: The amino-terminal portion of Agrobacterium VirD2 protein directs a ß-galactosidase fusion protein into tobacco nuclei

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 Agrobacterium 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
A binary plant vector strategy based on separation of vir- and T-region of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti-plasmid

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
Expression of bacterial genes in plant cells
A chimaeric antibiotic resistance gene as a selectable marker for plant cell transformation

There Were Multiple Transformants on Each Plate

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation 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

Transgenic plants protected from insect attack
Modification of the coding sequence enhances plant expression of insect control protein genes

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
Conjugation factor of Agrobacterium tumefaciens regulates Ti plasmid transfer by auto-induction

DNA Sequencing

Going After the Whole Genome from Two Different Angles

The genome of the natural genetic engineer C58
Genome sequence of the plant pathogen and biotechnology agent Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58

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

“This is an inspirational book, excellent in concept and timely in appearance, describing the transition from a problem in plant pathology to the expanding vista of genetic engineering of crop plants…this book will be of general interest to plant scientists, and to historians of science. Scientists at an early stage in their career should be inspired as I was by some of the commentaries; the best of them give insight into the way science is done and the standards to which all scientists should aspire.”
—Australian Plant Pathology

“This is an excellent book-a necessity for those working on Agrobacterium, and also of use to other pathologists and molecular biologists. For students, this book would be extremely important.”
—Plant Pathology

“…should be considered an invaluable, core addition to government, corporate, and academic research and reference collections in this specialized field of biological and biotechnological research.”

—The Midwest Book Review

“… this book really grabbed me and I got a great deal of enjoyment from reading it. I suspect many will follow avidly how the mysteries of this bacterium were unraveled and the development of its starring role in plant biotechnology but for me the commentaries themselves are a fascinating insight into how research was, and probably still is conducted. The editors/authors are to be congratulated on reproducing their enthusiasm for research and the joy of discovery.”
—Microbiology Today

Publish Date: 2005
Format: 8.5" x 11" hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-89054-322-1
Pages: 336
Images: 235 black and white images
Publication Weight: 3 lbs

Edited by Eugene Nester, Milton P. Gordon, and Allen Kerr

Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotechnology

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