Carrot Cancer and Lab Grown SynBio Carrot Soup

 

The control carrot to which no bacteria had been added.

The control carrot to which no bacteria had been added.

A carrot infected with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The greenish mass of cells in the middle is a bacterogenic  tumour.

A carrot infected with Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The greenish mass of cells in the middle is a bacterogenic tumour.

The bacterium Agrobacterium tumifaciens  is a sophisticated  plant pathogen causing gall-like tumours in its hosts.  Upon infection, it introduces a small section of its own DNA (called T-DNA) into the host plant’s genome and this results in the formation of  a plant tumour. The T-DNA carries genes for the production of plant hormones (auxin and cytokinins) thus  altering the hormonal balance in the plant cell so that its division is no longer controlled and tumours form. By infecting a carrot with these tumourogenic bacteria, I have produce and tumour.

Lots of artistic potential here.  Might it be possible to isolate to an immortal carrot cell line from the tumour, and clone in various flavour pathways,  so that one could directly grow carrot soup in the lab without ever having to resort to soil grown carrot.

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