Transferance of Gall Thru Pollen?

Anyone know if this happens?

Crown Gall is caused by a soil bacterium (Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which I worked on in grad school). There are no known cases of Crown Gall transmitted by pollen, and I doubt whether it is possible. The bacterium itself never enters the plant tissue, and thus could not get to the gametes. The bacterium injects a plasmid (small circular piece of DNA) into plant cells which transforms them into tumor cells. The bacteria live on the edges of the tumor.

Are you asking about “Citrus vein enation - woody gall virus”?

Apparently there is one report of passing the infection by putting the infected pollen into cuts (Vogel and Bove, 1980). I have not yet been able to get a look at this reference.


Thanks Jim! I suspected as much. I have a seedling with gall that I would like to breed with but I was afraid to. I think I’ll give it a shot.

And thank you too, Henry. I’ll look into that.

Judith, my understanding is that the effects are local, so that you could also use the seedling as a seed parent if it sets hips well.

Jim Sproul

This is all very interesting. I was somehow under the impression that the DNA from gall was more widely dispursed and that one shouldn’t take cuttings from an infected plant. Am I wrong about that?

The only cells that have the bacterial DNA are the ones in the gall, so cuttings should be fine as long as they don’t include part of the gall.

No kidding??? And I threw out some seedlings with it :frowning:

I know I’ve read that somewhere. I’ll go try to find it.

Gall can and does become systemic - but it isn’t the DNA from the bacteria that is the problem, it’s the bacteria and infected cells that get around inside the plant.



Thanks for the link Stefan. I guess my sense from all this is that it’s prolly not a great idea to take cuttings, but pollen is less likely (but not 100% unlikely) to be a transmitter.

I believe susceptibility is genetically linked which alone would influence my choice as parent.

Yeah, Ive seen galled plants which had cuttings from them grow up just fine. Example: I know a lady that was attached to her Playboy. So, she rooted cuttings and killed it. The cuttings are now 10 years old and just fine.

I plan on doing this with my American Honor I bought in 1995. It got gall this year. I bleached the infection that I removed, but I also took a lot of cuttings away from the source.