A functional map of the nopaline catabolism genes on the Ti plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58

C. L. Schardl, C. I. Kado

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17 Scopus citations


The nopaline catabolism (noc) genes are located in a 14.4 kb region on the pTiC58 plasmid of A. tumefaciens C58. These genes permit the bacterium to grow on nopaline N2-(1,3-dicarboxylpropyl) arginine, a substrate produced in plant tumors initiated by strain C58. The functions of the noc genes include the use of nopaline and L-ornithine as sole carbon and nitrogen sources. Using Tn 5 insertional mutants, we have identified and mapped the positions of the genes that are responsible for nopaline catabolism (NopC), ornithine catabolism (OrnC) and nopaline uptake (NopU). A polar relationship was found between these phenotypes, which extended leftward over the noc region to the T-region. The NopC mutants were also deficient in nopaline oxidase, an enzyme that liberates free arginine from nopaline. The noc region also encodes the synthesis of a periplasmic protein, n1 that was induced by nopaline. Tn 5 insertional mutations and molecular cloning were used to map the n1 production locus. The recombinant plasmids, pSa4480 and pSa4481, containing the 8.9 kb right-hand end of the noc region, conferred n1 production when introduced into a pTi-free strain of A. tumefaciens. Production of n1 by the strains carrying these plasmids required nopaline induction. We have identified in toto three noc loci: nocB, nocC, and nocA, which confer n1 production, nopaline oxidase production and ornithine catabolism respectively. A model is proposed whereby the noc genes of pTiC58 are contained on a leftward reading operon in the order nocB, nocC, and nocA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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