About the book
Agrobacterium is a truly remarkable organism. Its study over the last 100 years has revolutionized plant molecular genetics and has given birth to a whole new industry dedicated to the genetic modification of plants. Initially, studies were aimed solely at identifying the cause of destructive galls on ornamental plants and fruit trees. In the United States, two plant pathologists, Smith and Townsend (1907) reported that the causative agent of the disease, crown gall, was a bacterium that they named Bacterium tumefaciens. More than 30 years later, Armin Braun, a scientist at the Rockefeller Institute in Princeton, New Jersey demonstrated that this was a very unusual plant disease with properties never seen before. Since then, there were many important discoveries such as although living bacteria were necessary to start the infection in the plant, once initiated, the tumor developed in their absence. Other study showed that tumor cells could be cultured in media lacking the plant hormones, auxin, and cytokinin, which are necessary for the growth of normal cells. Many studies have been made in a number of laboratories in many countries. Much more information is being generated related to this subject worldwide. The aim of this book is to gather current information regarding the utilization and the importance of the Agrobacterium for all those who work with genetic modification of plant.