Cell Walls of Crown-Gall Tumors and Embryonic Plant Tissues Lack Agrobacterium Adherence Sites

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Science  10 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4333, pp. 1075-1078
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4333.1075


Crown-gall tumor initiation by Agrobacterium tumefaciens is inhibited by cell walls from normal dicotyledonous plants but not by cell walls from crown-gall tumors apparently because of bacterial adherence or nonadherence, respectively, to the different cell walls. Cell walls from normal and tumor tissues in culture also show this difference, indicating that the two types of tissue stably maintain this difference under these conditions. Habituated tissue cultures, which resemble crown-gall tumor cultures, however, form cell walls that are inhibitory like those of the normal cultures from which they are derived. Monocotyledonous plants do not act as hosts for Agrobacterium and bacteria-specific inhibition is not shown by cell walls from several species of grass, a monocot family. Cell wallsfrom "embryonic" tissues (dicot seedlings less than 2 centimeters long), unlike those from older seedlings, are non-inhibitory. Crown-gall tumors thus resemble embryonic tissues in this respect.