Agrobacterium tumefaciens infects plants and induces the formation of tumors called "crown galls" by integrating the transferred-DNA (T-DNA) region of the Ti-plasmid into the plant nuclear genome. Tumors are formed because the T-DNA encodes enzymes that modify the synthesis of two plant growth hormones, auxin and cytokinin (CK). Here, we show that a CK biosynthesis enzyme, Tmr, which is encoded by the Agrobacterium T-DNA region, is targeted to and functions in plastids of infected plant cells, despite having no typical plastid-targeting sequence. Evidence is provided that Tmr is an adenosine phosphate-isopentenyltransferase (IPT) that creates a new CK biosynthesis bypass by using 1-hydroxy-2-methyl-2-(E)-butenyl 4-diphosphate (HMBDP) as a substrate. Unlike in the conventional CK biosynthesis pathway in plants, trans-zeatin-type CKs are produced directly without the requirement for P450 monooxygenase- mediated hydroxylation. Consistent with the plastid localization of Tmr, HMBDP is an intermediate in the methylerythritol phosphate pathway, a plastid-localized biosynthesis route for universal isoprenoid precursors. These results demonstrate that A. tumefaciens modifies CK biosynthesis by sending a key enzyme into plastids of the host plant to promote tumorigenesis.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 Jul 12|
- Crown gall
- Methylerythritol phosphate pathway
ASJC Scopus subject areas