The Agrobacterium rhizogenes GALLS gene provides an alternative method to transform plants

Walt Ream, Wei Wei, Maciej Maselko, Larry Hodges

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Agrobacterium rhizogenes and A. tumefaciens transfer DNA and effector proteins into plant cells, where transferred DNA (T-DNA) is inherited and expressed. Most transgenic plants are created using A. tumefaciens, but transformation by A. rhizogenes yields desirable single-copy transgenes more frequently than A. tumefaciens does. DNA transfer from both species resembles plasmid conjugation, but later events differ between species. Efficient transformation by A. tumefaciens requires single-strand DNA-binding protein VirE2, which A. rhizogenes lacks, so substrates for T-DNA integration differ greatly. In A. rhizogenes, the GALLS proteins substitute for (but do not resemble) VirE2. GALLS proteins occur in two forms: full-length (FL) and a more abundant C-terminal domain (CT). Both have protein-binding domains and type IV secretion signals. GALLS-FL has ATPase/ strand transferase and nuclear localization (NLS) domains, allowing it to enter the nucleus and bind VirD2, a pilot protein attached to single-stranded T-DNA (T-strands). GALLS-FL ATPase may pull T-strands into the nucleus. GALLS-CT stimulates an early step in gene transfer to plants; this effector protein alters host gene expression and stimulates T-DNA transfer, apparently by suppressing host defenses. These observations challenge the assumption that A. rhizogenes and A. tumefaciens transform plants and mitigate host defenses by the same mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProduction of Plant Derived Natural Compounds through Hairy Root Culture
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319697697
ISBN (Print)9783319697680
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing AG 2017.


  • Agrobacterium rhizogenes
  • GALLS gene
  • Plant transformation
  • Single-copy transgenes


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