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Gain of function assays identify non-rol genes from Agrobacterium rhizogenes TL-DNA that alter plant morphogenesis or hormone sensitivity

Lemcke, K., Schmulling, T.
The plant journal 1998 v.15 no.3 pp. 423-433
Nicotiana tabacum, Rhizobium rhizogenes, assays, morphogenesis, transgenic plants, internodes, leaves, plant morphology, necrosis, auxins, cytokinins, gene expression, cell division, cell growth, pathogenicity, loci, open reading frames, chromosome mapping, plasmids, host plants, plant diseases and disorders, shape, transfer DNA
This study tested the morphogenetic potential of 15 open reading frames of the TL-DNA of Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain HRI. These open reading frames were expressed individually under the control of the 35S RNA promoter in transgenic tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum L.). Expression of three T-DNA loci, ORF3n, ORF8 and ORF13, alters plant morphogenesis or the response of transgenic tissues to plant hormones. ORF3n transgenic plants are characterized by retarded flowering, altered internode elongation, altered leaf shape and, in particular, leaf tip necrosis. ORF3n and ORF8 expression reduces the sensitivity to auxin and cytokinin in combination or auxin alone. Tetracycline-dependent expression of ORF13 overcomes a selection of low levels of expression during plant regeneration and reveals a strong inhibitory effect of the ORF13 gene product on cell division and cell elongation. We conclude that the A. rhizogenes TL-DNA harbors genetic information that is important for pathogenicity apart from the well studied rol genes. We propose that these genes play mainly a negative regulatory role during pathogenesis. Moreover, these loci might be relevant to successful infections in specific host plants.