Osa protein constitutes a strong oncogenic suppression system that can block vir-dependent transfer of IncQ plasmids between Agrobacterium cells and the establishment of IncQ plasmids in plant cells

Journal of Bacteriology
Lan-Ying Lee, Stanton B Gelvin


The osa (oncogenic suppressive activity) gene of the IncW group plasmid pSa is sufficient to suppress tumorigenesis by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. osa confers oncogenic suppression by inhibiting VirE2 protein export. This result is similar, but not identical, to that of oncogenic suppression by the IncQ plasmid RSF1010. We conducted a series of experiments to compare oncogenic suppression by these two systems. Agrobacterium strains harboring plasmids containing osa are more able to effect oncogenic suppression than are similar strains containing various RSF1010 derivatives. When osa is present within a donor Agrobacterium strain that also carries a derivative of RSF1010, the transfer of RSF1010 derivatives to recipient bacteria and their establishment in plants are blocked. Oncogenic suppression is still effected when the osa gene is integrated into the Agrobacterium chromosome, suggesting that it is the osa gene product that is active in suppression and that suppression does not require a protein-nucleic acid intermediate like that described for IncQ plasmids. Extracellular complementation experiments with tobacco leaf disks indicated that Osa blocks stable transfer of RSF1010 to plant cells by inhibiting transfer of VirE2, whi...Continue Reading


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