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Functional analysis of agrobacterium tumefaciens virulence protein VirD5

Supervisor: P.J.J. Hooykaas

X. Zhang
26 april 2016
Thesis in Leiden Repository

The Gram-negative soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is capable of infecting a large number of dicotyledonous plants, causing crown gall disease. During infection, a small DNA segment (T-DNA) from the tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid of the bacterium is delivered via a VirB/D4 Type Four Secretion System (TFSS) into plant cells where it is integrated into the genome. The expression of genes on the T-DNA in transformed plant cells leads to uncontrolled cell division, and ultimately triggers plant tumor formation. Agrobacterium also transfers several virulence (vir) proteins (VirD2, VirD3, VirD5, VirE2, VirE3 and VirF) encoded by genes present in the vir region of the Ti plasmid to host cells via the same TFSS apparatus independently of the T-DNA. In this thesis, I mainly focused on the biological functions of one of these translocated virulence proteins called VirD5.

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