What is agrobacterium?, Robert Horsch

Interviewee: Robert Horsch. Robert Horsch talks about the parasitic nature of agrobacterium and the effect it has on the host plant. (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Techniques > Transferring & storing > Interviews > What is agrobacterium?)

Agrobacterium is amazing little bacteria that is found in soil almost everywhere in the world and that makes its living in nature by genetically engineering live cells in a wounded part of a plant. It will splash in or blow in on dust particles, and when it finds a wound it will attach to the cell wall and transfer a segment of DNA that contains genes that do two things: the first are a set of genes that cause the plant cells to grow into this gall, and that creates a physical home, it's full of little nooks and crannies that the bacterial colonies can grow and protect it from the weather. It also tells the plant cells to make a unique set of compounds called opines that are nitrogen-rich, which is an essential rare nutrient in nature, and have sugar, an energy and carbon source.

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