why is agrobacterium tumifaciens called the natural genetic engineer ? how can it be used as a vector?

Dear student,
Please find below the answer:

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is known as the natural genetic engineer of a plant because it has the natural ability to genetically engineer plants. This genetic engineering capability of the bacterium integrates its plasmid genes into the plant genomes. This bacterium is able to induce tumours in plants. It can convert normal cells into cancerous cells by rDNA technology.
For example, it causes crown gall disease in a wide range of broad-leaved plants, such as apple, pear, roses etc. In these plants, the bacterium transfers part of its DNA to the plant, and the DNA integrates into the plant’s genome, causing the production of tumours and changes in the metabolism of the plant.  

Vector is a genetic tool that is used to carry a foreign DNA segment for insertion into a cell that is desired to be genetically engineered. A vector must be able to self replicate. 

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used as a vector for plant transformation experiments. It is used to transfer a gene of interest into the plant. It is a good vector-
1. Carry selectable marker such as an antibiotic resistance gene for identifying the recombinants.
2. Small in size.
3. Carry origin of replication so that recombinant DNA molecule can multiply in the host cells.
4. Contain multiple restriction sites for restriction enzymes.
5. It contains a tumour inducing plasmid(ti plasmid) in dicots and has been modified into a cloning vector.


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