Table of contents
About this book
Genetic material is in flux: this is one of the most exciting recent concepts in molecular biology. This volume of "Plant Gene Research" describes changes that occur in the genetic material of plants. It is worthwhile re membering that the first examples of unstable genomes were described for maize before DNA was known to be the genetic material. Now trans posable elements like the ones found in maize have been described in almost all organisms and have become incorporated into our thinking about genome structure. Flux in the plant genome is not restricted to transposable elements or to nuclear genes. Exchanges of genetic material have been demonstrated within organelle DNA, between organelle DNAs or between organelle and nuclear DNAs. Such exchanges may only occur over evolutionary times or may be a continuing process. Also the environment alters the plant genome. Stress, either viral, nutri tional or tissue-culture induced causes heritable changes in the genome. Infection with the crown gall bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens results in the transfer of bacterial DNA into the plant genome.