Upon incubation of Agrobacterium tumefaciens A348 with acetosyringone, the vir genes encoded by the Ti (tumor-inducing) plasmid are induced. The addition of certain opines, including octopine, nopaline, leucinopine, and succinamopine, enhanced this induction 2- to 10-fold. The compounds mannopine, acetopine, arginine, pyruvate, and leucine did not stimulate the induction of the vir genes to such an extent. The enhancement of vir gene induction by opines depended on acetosyringone and the genes virA and virG. Opines stimulated the activity of the vir genes, the double-stranded cleavage of the T (transferred)-DNA at the border repeat sequences, and the production of T-strands by the bacterium. The transformation efficiency of cotton shoot tips was markedly increased by the addition of acetosyringone and nopaline at the time of infection.
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