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I can't think of any reason why plants wouldn't be able to get cancer, but I've never heard of a plant growing a tumor. I've also never seen a plant with a noticeable abnormal growth. Can plants get cancer?

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This is touched upon in this answer –  Rory M Mar 6 '13 at 0:08
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes, plants of all sizes can have cancerous growths.

Agrobacterium tumifaciens, the causative agent of crown gall disease, produces what is called a tumor. See this link for detailed information on these growths. Alternatively, use a plant physiology textbook to look up the above terms. (Here, is where a textbook is better than a single abstract in PubMed.)

I am certain that you have seen such growths on trees, such as this. Other smaller versions can occur on smaller plants - on stems and leaves, for example. The plant builds up tissue around the A. tumifaciens infection in an effort to isolate and contain the infection and its effects.

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Are there any examples of cancerous growths without infection, however? –  Rory M Mar 7 '13 at 13:00
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