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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Brad Goodner


Agrobacterium tumefaciensis a bacterium that lives in temperate soils world-wide and induces tumors on many types of plants including dicots, some gymnosperms, and a few monocots. The tumor-inducing process (Figure 1) is unique in that it is one of the few cases known in which an organism without a nucleus can inject its genetic material into cells of an organism that do contain a nucleus. Infection occurs at a wound site on the plant. A bacterium will anchor itself to the surface of one of the exposed plant cells via cellulose fibers and attract more bacteria leading to the formation of large aggregates of the organisms. Eventually, the bacteria invade the host and transfer plasmid DNA to the plant cells' nuclei. This results in tumor growth because, as the bacterial DNA is integrated into the plant's genomic DNA, expression of these genes leads to overproduction of plant growth hormones, such as auxins and cytokinins, that allow the plant cells to proliferate limitlessly.