|MadSci Network: Botany|
Dear Jamie, Cnacer is typically a disease only found in the Animal kingdom. It is caused by a mutation in either a tumour supressor gene or a mutation of an oncogene. This mutation causes the rapid growth of cells and they don't specialize. A good link to find out more about the genetics of cancer is http://www.cancergenetics.org/ As for your question about what cancer looks like in plants I think you are referring ot a disease called Crown Gall Disease. Plants don't get the cancer. They do get tumour-like growths that look like they could be cancer and that are cuased by uncontrolled growth but it is not due to an error in copying the gene. It is cuase by a bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This baceria actually inserts a piece of its DNA into the plant cells DNA and causes it to grow really fast. A link that you may want to check out for more info on this is http://helios.bto.ed.ac.uk/bto/microbes/crown.htm There are several photos of the disease on this site as well. I couldn't find any information about the application of Allicin to plants. You may want to try several different ways to see waht works best. One would be to dissolve the drug in water and use the roots as a delivery method. A second would be to apply it topically to the tumour itself. You should also have a control plant that is not being treated so that you can see if the drug has any effect at all. Good luck Wendy
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