Received April 9, 2013; Revision received September 5, 2013
This review analyzes agrobacterial virulence proteins and recipient cell proteins involved in horizontal transfer of a T-DNA–protein complex. Specifically, it considers the early stages of the interactions of partners (signal exchange, attachment, close contact); T-DNA release from bacterial cells; channel formation for the transfer of ssDNA between the partners; transfer of agrobacterial T-DNA through the membrane, cytoplasm, and nuclear membrane of the recipient cell and its incorporation into the recipient cell genome. It further discusses possible pathways of agrobacterial ssDNA transfer to the recipient cells. In particular, the possible role of T-pili and VirE2 protein during conjugative transfer of agrobacterial ssDNA between donor and recipient cells is discussed.
KEY WORDS: horizontal transfer, Agrobacterium, T-DNA, virulence proteins, conjugation, T-pili, VirE2