Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a pathogenic bacterium capable of inserting small pieces of genetic material into the genome of the plant or animal cell that it colonizes. This property makes Agrobacterium a very useful tool for injecting manipulated genetic material into cells. On August 21 Rajinder Kaul and co-workers at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in collaboration with colleagues from DuPont and the University of Campinas in Brazil released on the Internet the complete sequence of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain C58.

They report that the A. tumefaciens genome contains a total of more than 5.67 million base pairs. The sequence for each of the C58 replicons is presented and with the exception of a few small-scattered low quality regions, Southern blot analysis suggests that all these sequences are complete.

They caution that this is still a work in progress and annotation data is not yet available, but they...

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