Tumor cell transformation and growth were studied in a plant neoplasm, crown gall of bean, induced by Agrobacterium rubi. Ribose nucleic acid (RNA), deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA), histone, and total protein were estimated by microphotometry of nuclei, nucleoli, and cytoplasm in stained tissue sections. Transformation of normal cells to tumor cells was accompanied by marked increases in ribonucleoprotein content of affected tissues, reaching a maximum 2 to 3 days after inoculation with virulent bacteria. Increased DNA levels were in part associated with increased mitotic frequency, but also with progressive accumulation of nuclei in the higher DNA classes, formed by repeated DNA doubling without intervening reduction by mitosis. Some normal nuclei of the higher DNA classes (with 2, 4, or 8 times the DNA content of diploid nuclei) were reduced to diploid levels by successive cell divisions without intervening DNA synthesis. The normal relation between DNA synthesis and mitosis was thus disrupted in tumor tissue. Nevertheless, clearly defined DNA classes, as found in homologous normal tissues, were maintained in the tumor at all times.

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