PodcastPlant biology

Science Signaling Podcast: 19 November 2013

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Sci. Signal.  19 Nov 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 302, pp. pc31
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004860

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This Podcast features an interview with Stanton Gelvin, senior author of a Research Article that appears in the 19 November 2013 issue of Science Signaling, about a transcription factor that controls a plant's susceptibility to infection by a bacterium that is both a disease-causing pathogen and a valuable tool for genetic engineering. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a bacterium that causes crown gall disease by inserting into plant cells genes that cause the cells to proliferate and form a tumor. Although it can damage crops, Agrobacterium is also useful for research and genetic engineering because the bacterium can be used to transfer genes of interest into plants. Although Agrobacterium is widely used to transform plants, there are some species and strains that are not highly susceptible to Agrobacterium infection. Previous efforts to identify the plant genes involved in infection by Agrobacterium have focused on mutant plants that are resistant to infection. Sardesai et al. took the opposite approach, using mutant plants that are hyper-susceptible to Agrobacterium infection, to identify plant genes that control susceptibility to infection.

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