The Use of Bioluminescence for Monitoring in planta Growth Dynamics of a Pseudomonas syringae Plant Pathogen
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The use of bioluminescence was evaluated as a tool to study Pseudomonas syringae population dynamics in susceptible and resistant plant environments. Plasmid pGLITE, containing the luxCDABE genes from Photorhabdus luminescens, was introduced into Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola race 7 strain 1449B, a Gram-negative pathogen of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Bacteria recovered from plant tissue over a five-day period were enumerated by counting numbers of colony forming units and by measurement of bioluminescence. Direct measurement of bioluminescence from leaf disc homogenates consistently reflected bacterial growth as determined by viable counting, but also detected subtle effects of the plant resistance response on bacterial viability. This bioluminescence procedure enables real time measurement of bacterial metabolism and population dynamics in planta, obviates the need to carry out labour intensive and time consuming traditional enumeration techniques and provides a sensitive assay for studying plant effects on bacterial cells.
KeywordsAvirulence bacteria bean lux pathogenicity
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We thank Steven Beard, Alan Vivian and Gillian Smith for helpful discussions. Work with the plant pathogen was carried out under MAFF licences PHL63A/3235 and PHL63A/3236.
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