Virulence and supervirulence of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in woody fruit plants
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The ability of two wild-type (C58 and Ach5) and one transconjugant (A281) Agrobacterium tumefaciens: strains to incite tumours on some woody fruit species of the Rosaceae, Vitaceae and Rutaceae was determined in comparison to tobacco and tomato plants. Agrobacterium strain A281 has been reported to be-supervirulent on tobacco and tomato. Here, the supervirulent phenotype of A281 was clearly shown on tobacco plants but not on two different tomato cultivars. On woody fruit hosts, relative virulence induced by each Agrobacterium strain was dependent on the infecting strain and the host species. On Rutaceae, A281 showed a supervirulent phenotype, while on Rosaceae and on grapevine the responses to all Agrobacterium strains were highly variable and supervirulence was never observed. It is suggested that different responses observed on different host species are probably due to the specificity of the Agrobacterium strain-host interaction. Implications of these results for the concept of supervirulence associated with strain A281 and its disarmed derivatives are discussed. (C) 1998 Academic Press Limited.