need information on agrobacterium tumefaciens

Timothy J. Strabala 71242.3650 at
Fri Feb 9 16:48:18 EST 1996

In article <Pine.SCO.3.91.960208123534.25700B-100000 at>,
"JMdS.96" <bsousa at> wrote:

>    The person who wrote this "Need help !" thing, is probably out
> of primary school ... and doesn't know that the microorganism in
> question is actually benefic to the plant !
>    Agrobacterium tumefaciens, produces nodules on plant roots, and 
> may be very useful in capturing atmospheric Nitrogen !
>    Or am I worng ?
>    JMdS.96

You are wrong.  The organism you are thinking of is Rhizobium, of which
there are several species, which is symbiotically involved in nitrogen
fixation with many different plant species.  Agrobacterium is a plant
pathogen which causes crown gall disease.  Like cancer in animals, crown
gall disease is manifested by unregulated growth of plant cells.  These
symptoms are caused by genes which result in the production of two types
of plant growth substances, known collectively as auxins and cytokinins
which are intimately involved in most aspects of plant growth and
development.  Despite the fact that Rhizobium is a symbiont and
Agrobacterium is a pathogen, these bacterial species are otherwise very
similar in many respects.  

Tim Strabala
University of Missouri-Columbia
Dept. of Biochemistry
117 Schweitzer Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
71242.3650 at

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