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Feb 3 Science Cafe: Agrobacterium, the natural genetic hijacker!

East Bay Science Cafe

Agrobacterium, the natural genetic hijacker!

Romain Grangeon

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Cafe Valparaiso
1403 Solano Ave.
Albany, California 94706

Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a soil living bacteria with the capacity to take control of plant cells and to reprogram them for its own ends. To do so, bacteria create a “syringe”-like channel and inject a DNA code into plants to cause diseases. This code will make the plant a welcoming place for A. tumefaciens, providing unlimited food and a stable environment. The same channel is used by notable human pathogens causing peptic ulcers, Legionnaires’ disease, whooping cough, brucellosis and typhus fever.

Another interesting aspect of A. tumefaciens biology that has been discovered recently is its unique way to grow. In contrast to most bacteria that grow uniformly along their entire lengths, A. tumefaciens use another mechanism and grow only at one pole.

Agrobacterium Image: Zambryski Lab

Optical Sections, bacterial cell where each T4SS is green. Image: Zambryski Lab

Romain Grangeon completed both Bachelor and Master degrees, specializing in Plant Science, at the University of Montpellier II, France. In 2013 he received his PhD with research on the Characterization of the replication complex of the Turnip Mosaic Virus at Institut Armand-Frappier INRS, Laval, Québec. He is currently a Postdoctoral associate in the Plant and Microbial Biology department in the Zambryski lab at University of California, Berkeley.

Romain Grangeon

Romain Grangeon


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