Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A deeper look into the pathogen responsible for crown gall disease in plants

Date:
July 11, 2012
Source:
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Summary:
Scientists have revealed new insights into the molecular properties of the rod-shaped soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the pathogen responsible for crown gall disease, a tumor-forming infection in plants, such as tomatoes, walnuts, grapes and beets.

Next week's Journal of Biological Chemistry "Paper of the Week" by Wai Mun Huang and colleagues at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and the University of Minnesota reveals new insights into the molecular properties of the rod-shaped soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the pathogen responsible for crown gall disease, a tumor-forming infection in plants, such as tomatoes, walnuts, grapes and beets.

The bacterium is parasitic: It infects its plant host by entering through an open wound, inserts a small segment of its genetic code into the plant's genome, devours energy made by the plant, and forms knobby brown lesions on the plant stem.

Huang's group focused on the pathogen's genetic material. Most bacteria have circular chromosomes. But A. tumefaciens C58, the strain studied by Huang's group, contains one circular chromosome and one linear chromosome (along with two circular plasmids). Huang's research illuminates how this bacterium maintains its linear chromosome.

Huang's team ascertained the DNA sequence for the telomeres, or the protective end caps, of the linear chromosome in A. tumefaciens C58 and confirmed that an enzyme, TelA, actually forms them by making hairpin loops. These end caps are important for maintaining the stability of linear chromosomes. Interestingly, TelA also binds the telomeres. This activity is unique among bacterial enzymes of this kind and may protect the telomeres (which degrade over time and thus lose their ability to preserve DNA), as telomere binding proteins do in eukaryotes.

"Hairpin-ended linear chromosomes and plasmids are found in a number of branches of bacteria and viruses," Huang says. "They are simple and elegant to form and to maintain." But what remains to be understood is why this linear configuration is not more common or even the preferred configuration for bacteria, Huang emphasizes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. M. Huang, J. DaGloria, H. Fox, Q. Ruan, J. Tillou, K. Shi, H. Aihara, J. Aron, S. Casjens. Linear chromosome generating system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58: Protelomerase generates and protects hairpin ends. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.369488

Cite This Page:

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "A deeper look into the pathogen responsible for crown gall disease in plants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711101036.htm>.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. (2012, July 11). A deeper look into the pathogen responsible for crown gall disease in plants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711101036.htm
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. "A deeper look into the pathogen responsible for crown gall disease in plants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711101036.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins