, Volume 171, Issue 4, pp 539-548

Initiation of auxin autonomy in Nicotiana glutinosa cells by the cytokinin-biosynthesis gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens

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Agrobacteria carrying mutations at the auxin-biosynthesizing loci (iaaH and iaaM of the Ti plasmid) induce shoot-forming tumors on many plant species. In some cases, e.g. Nicotiana glutinosa L., tumors induced by such mutant strains exhibit an unorganized and fully autonomous phenotype. These characteristics are stable in culture at both the tissue and cellular level. We demonstrate that the cytokinin-biosynthesis gene (ipt) of the Ti plasmid is responsble for the induction of both auxin and cytokinin autonomy in N. glutinosa. Cloned cell lines carrying an ipt gene but lacking iaaH and iaaM are capable of accumulating indole-3-acetic acid. Interestingly, non-transformed N. glutinosa tissues exhibit an auxin-requiring phenotype when they are grown on medium supplemented with an exogenous supply of cytokinin. These results strongly indicate that exogenously supplied cytokinin does not mimic all the effects of the expression of the ipt gene in causing the auxin-autonomous growth of N. glutinosa cells.