HAU16008-01-6 - RESEARCH ARTICLES The Genome of the Natural...

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The Genome of the Natural Genetic Engineer Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 Derek W. Wood, 1 Joao C. Setubal, 2,4 Rajinder Kaul, 5 Dave E. Monks, 1 Joao P. Kitajima, 2,3 Vagner K. Okura, 2 Yang Zhou, 5 Lishan Chen, 1 * Gwendolyn E. Wood, 1 Nalvo F. Almeida Jr., 6 Lisa Woo, 1 Yuching Chen, 1 ² Ian T. Paulsen, 7 Jonathan A. Eisen, 7 Peter D. Karp, 8 Donald Bovee Sr., 5 Peter Chapman, 5 James Clendenning, 5 Glenda Deatherage, 5 Will Gillet, 5 Charles Grant, 5 Tatyana Kutyavin, 5 Ruth Levy, 5 Meng-Jin Li, 5 Erin McClelland, 5 Anthony Palmieri, 5 Christopher Raymond, 5 Gregory Rouse, 5 Channakhone Saenphimmachak, 5 Zaining Wu, 5 Pedro Romero, 8 David Gordon, 9 Shiping Zhang, 10 Heayun Yoo, 10 Yumin Tao, 11 Phyllis Biddle, 10 Mark Jung, 10 William Krespan, 10 Michael Perry, 10 Bill Gordon-Kamm, 11 Li Liao, 10 Sun Kim, 10 Carol Hendrick, 11 Zuo-Yu Zhao, 11 Maureen Dolan, 10 Forrest Chumley, 10 Scott V. Tingey, 10 Jean-Francois Tomb, 10 Milton P. Gordon, 12 Maynard V. Olson, 5 Eugene W. Nester 1,13 § The 5.67-megabase genome of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 consists of a circular chromosome, a linear chromosome, and two plasmids. Extensive orthology and nucleotide colinearity between the genomes of A. tumefaciens and the plant symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti suggest a recent evolutionary divergence. Their similarities include metabolic, transport, and regulatory systems that promote survival in the highly competitive rhizosphere; differences are apparent in their genome structure and virulence gene com- plement. Availability of the A. tumefaciens sequence will facilitate investiga- tions into the molecular basis of pathogenesis and the evolutionary divergence of pathogenic and symbiotic lifestyles. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is an a -pro- teobacterium of the family Rhizobiaceae and a member of the diverse Agrobacterium ge- nus. A ubiquitous soil organism and etiolog- ical agent of the plant disease crown gall ( 1 ), A. tumefaciens infects more than 90 families of dicotyledonous plants, resulting in major agronomic losses ( 2, 3 ). The gall results from the transfer, integration, and expression of a discrete set of genes (T-DNA) located on the tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid. Expression of these genes leads to biosynthesis of plant growth hormones as well as a bacterial nutri- ent source called opines ( 4 ). The processing and transfer of the T-DNA is mediated by the Ti plasmid virulence ( vir ) genes, and several virulence determinants initially characterized in A. tumefaciens have been found in plant symbionts and animal pathogens ( 5–7 ). The genes within the T-DNA can be re- placed by any DNA sequence, making A. tumefaciens an ideal vehicle for gene transfer and an essential tool for plant research and transgenic crop production. The research and commercial potential of A. tumefaciens has been broadened under laboratory conditions to include the transfer of T-DNA to recalci- trant plants, fungi ( 8 ), and human cells ( 9 ).
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