Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

11.07.2012
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.

From the article: "Linear chromosome generating system of Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58: Protelomerase generates and protects hairpin ends" by Wai Mun Huang, Jeanne DaGloria, Heather Fox, Qiurong Ruan, John Tillou, Ke Shi, Hideki Aihara, John Aron, and Sherwood Casjens

Link to Paper in Press version of article: http://bit.ly/MfBz8C

Corresponding author: Wai Mun Huang, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; email: waimun.huang@path.utah.edu

About the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The ASBMB is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry. The Society's student members attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. For more information about ASBMB, visit www.asbmb.org.

Written by Danielle Gutierrez

Angela Hopp | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asbmb.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>