Document Type


Date of Original Version



Plant Sciences


A tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid from a strain of Agrobacterium tumefaciens that induces tumors on only a limited range of plants was characterized and compared with the Ti plasmids from strains that induce tumors on a wide range of plants. Whereas all wide-host-range Ti plasmids characterized to date contain closely linked oncogenic loci within a single transferred DNA (T-DNA) region, homology to these loci is divided into two widely separated T-DNA regions on the limited-host-range plasmid. These two plasmid regions, TA-DNA and TB-DNA, are separated by approximately 25 kilobases of DNA which is not maintained in the tumor. The TA-DNA region resembles a deleted form of the wide-host-range TL-DNA and contains a region homologous to the cytokinin biosynthetic gene. However, a region homologous to the two auxin biosynthetic loci of the wide-host-range plasmid mapped within the TB-DNA region. These latter genes play an important role in tumor formation because mutations in these loci result in a loss of virulence on Nicotiana plants. Furthermore, the TB-DNA region alone conferred tumorigenicity onto strains with an intact set of vir genes. Our results suggest that factors within both the T-DNA and the vir regions contribute to the expression of host range in Agrobacterium species. There was a tremendous variation among plants in susceptibility to tumor formation by various A. tumefaciens strains. This variation occurred not only among different plant species, but also among different varieties of plants within the same genus.