Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Biochemistry & Molecular Biol.

First Advisor

Dr. B. Daniel Pierce


Agrobacterium tumefaciens can live independently within soil before infecting its host (McCullen and Binns, 2006). The bacterium infects the plant through the rhizosphere, an area of soil along the plant root surface which contains microorganisms, making up the “external metabolome” (Bais et al. 2006). As these bacteria live in the rhizosphere, they are exposed to a multitude of chemical signals. These chemical signals include several conditions that must be met before the virulence machinery is expressed. These conditions include signaling from phenols and sugars as well as low PO4 levels and low pH. Upon wounding, sugars and phenols are released from the plant cell wall and capitalized upon by the Agrobacterium virulence machinery (McCullen and Binns, 2006).