Author(s): Graves AC, Goldman SL
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Abstract Virulent strains of the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens infect dicotyledonous plants and elicit a profound neoplastic response which results in crown gall formation (18). The inciting agent has been shown to be a high molecular weight plasmid (Ti) a section of which, the T-DNA, integrates into the host plant's genome (4, 28, 30). Although transformation of this kind was presumed to be limited to dicots, the detection of enzyme activities linked to the expression of T-DNA has been demonstrated in monocots from the families Liliaceae and Amaryllidaceae (10, 11).In this communication, we present evidence that a member of the commercially important Gramineae also is subject to A. tumefaciens directed transformation. This conclusion is based on two observations. First, seedlings of Zea mays that have had the bacteria introduced into wound sites defined by a region which includes the scutellar node and mesocotyl express the activity of enzymes whose synthesis is associated with the translation of T-DNA transcripts. Specifically, strain specific lysopine dehydrogenase activity has been detected in B6 infected material, whereas nopaline dehydrogenase activity is reported only in those plants inoculated with C58N. Second, the detection of either of these activities in extracts made from infected maize plants requires that the assaulting bacterial strain be competent with respect to the transfer of T-DNA. The vir (-) strains, JK195 and 238MX, are not, and transformation does not seem to occur. In this connection, the corresponding opine synthase activities are not observed.
This article was published in Plant Mol Biol
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering