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Communication

Quantifying Plant-Borne Carbon Assimilation by Root-Associating Bacteria

1
School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2
Missouri Research Reactor Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
3
Chemistry Department, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
4
Division of Plant Sciences, Interdisciplinary Plant Group, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(5), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050700
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 8 May 2020 / Published: 10 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Methods in Microbial Research)
Herbaspirillum seropedicae is a rhizobacteria that occupies a specialized ecological niche in agriculture. As an endophyte and prolific grass root colonizer it has the potential to promote plant growth, enhancing crop yield in many cereal crops. While the mechanisms for plant growth promotion are controversial, the one irrefutable fact is these microorganisms rely heavily on plant-borne carbon as their main energy source in support of their biological functions. Unfortunately, the tools and technology enabling researchers to trace carbon exchange between plants and the microorganisms associating with them has been limiting. Here, we demonstrate that radioactive 11CO2 administered to intact maize leaves with translocation of 11C-photosynthates to roots can provide a ‘traceable’ source of carbon whose assimilation by microbial organisms can be quantified with enormous sensitivity. Fluorescence root imaging of RAM10, a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporting strain of H. seropedicae, was used to identify regions of high microbial colonization. Microbes were mechanically removed from these regions via sonication in saline solution and extracts were subjected to fluorescence measurement and gamma counting to correlate carbon-11 atoms with numbers of colony forming units. The method has potential to translate to other microorganisms provided they possess an optical reporting trait. View Full-Text
Keywords: Herbaspirillum seropedicae; green fluorescence reporting; endophytic rhizobacteria; maize roots; carbon-11; plant-borne carbon Herbaspirillum seropedicae; green fluorescence reporting; endophytic rhizobacteria; maize roots; carbon-11; plant-borne carbon
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MDPI and ACS Style

Waller, S.; Wilder, S.L.; Schueller, M.J.; Housh, A.B.; Ferrieri, R.A. Quantifying Plant-Borne Carbon Assimilation by Root-Associating Bacteria. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 700. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050700

AMA Style

Waller S, Wilder SL, Schueller MJ, Housh AB, Ferrieri RA. Quantifying Plant-Borne Carbon Assimilation by Root-Associating Bacteria. Microorganisms. 2020; 8(5):700. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050700

Chicago/Turabian Style

Waller, Spenser, Stacy L. Wilder, Michael J. Schueller, Alexandra B. Housh, and Richard A. Ferrieri 2020. "Quantifying Plant-Borne Carbon Assimilation by Root-Associating Bacteria" Microorganisms 8, no. 5: 700. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8050700

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