Plant genetic transformation heavily relies on the bacterial pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens as a powerful tool to deliver genes of interest into a host plant. Inside the plant nucleus, the transferred DNA is capable of integrating into the plant genome for inheritance to the next generation (i.e. stable transformation). Alternatively, the foreign DNA can transiently remain in the nucleus without integrating into the genome but still be transcribed to produce desirable gene products (i.e. transient transformation). From the discovery of A. tumefaciens to its wide application in plant biotechnology, numerous aspects of the interaction between A. tumefaciens and plants have been elucidated. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the biology and the applications of Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation, which may be useful for both microbiologists and plant biologists who desire a better understanding of plant transformation, protein expression in plants, and plant-microbe interaction.
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