The Plant Oncogenes rol A, B, and C from Agrobacterium rhizogenes

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The soil pathogen Agrobacterium rhizogenes is the etiological agent of hairy root disease and can incite tumor formation on many dicotyledonous plants (1). The disease is so-called because abundant fine roots that resemble hair develop at the site of infection. A segment of the large Ri plasmid, the T-DNA or transferred DNA, is mobilized from the bacterium into the plant genome, thereby initiating the disease (24). The T-DNA may consist of one region (e.g., Ri plasmid 8196) or two separate regions, termed the TL-DNA and the TR-DNA. Axenic growth of transformed roots in liquid culture is typically fast, highly branched, and hormone independent.