News From the Field
Bacterial Plasmids--the Freeloading and the Heavy-lifters--Balance the High Price of Disease
February 1, 2012
Indiana University biologists studying self-replicating genetic units called plasmids, found in one of the world's widest-ranging pathogenic soil bacteria--the crown gall disease-causing microorganism Agrobacterium tumefaciens--are showing how freeloading, mutant derivatives of these plasmids benefit, while the virulent, disease-causing plasmids do the heavy lifting of initiating infection in plant hosts.
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