The 5.67-megabase genome of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 consists of a circular chromosome, a linear chromosome, and two plasmids. Extensive orthology and nucleotide colinearity between the genomes of A. tumefaciens and the plant symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti suggest a recent evolutionary divergence. Their similarities include metabolic, transport, and regulatory systems that promote survival in the highly competitive rhizosphere; differences are apparent in their genome structure and virulence gene complement. Availability of the A. tumefaciens sequence will facilitate investigations into the molecular basis of pathogenesis and the evolutionary divergence of pathogenic and symbiotic lifestyles.
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