Navigation Links
Student research team sequences genome of bacterium discovered in Virginia Tech garden
Date:4/21/2010

Under the supervision of a Virginia Tech plant pathologist, a group of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students isolated and characterized a formerly unknown group of bacteria.

The bacteria strain belongs to the plant pathogen species Pseudomonas syringae. One bacterium of this group, strain 642, was isolated at the Hahn Horticulture Garden and is the first bacterium isolated on the Virginia Tech campus to have its genome sequenced.

"I collaborate with John Kowalski's high school students at the Roanoke Valley Governor's School for Science and Technology, undergraduate students from Concord University in West Virginia, and graduate students at Virginia Tech to teach about the role of bacteria in the environment and, in particular, their importance to plants, using a hands-on approach," said Boris Vinatzer, assistant professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Found on a wide variety of plants, many strains of P. syringae cause plant diseases such as bacterial blight, spot, speck, stripes, and canker. When springs are wet and cool, P. syringae can severely reduce crop yield and quality. However, P. syringae strain 642 does not cause disease on any tested plant species.

"Because the bacterium we isolated and sequenced is nonpathogenic itself but is very similar to pathogens, we can compare its genome to the genomes of the closely related pathogens and see what mechanisms bacteria use to cause disease and how bacteria evolve to become pathogens," Vinatzer said.

When Vinatzer genetically analyzed this unique group of P. syringae bacteria two years ago, he compared it with other bacteria that had been studied by researchers in the past. He was surprised when he found that the first genetically engineered bacterium ever released into the environment in 1987 belonged to this same group of bacteria. Nearly 30 years ago, Steve Lindow, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, had genetically engineered this bacterium to protect plants from frost by deleting a gene that makes a protein causing water to freeze at relatively high temperatures.

"Also a bacterium isolated in upstate New York by Cornell University researchers belongs to the same group of bacteria and was found to control a fungus that causes a disease of apple," Vinatzer added.

Maureen Farrell, of Aldie, Va., a sophomore majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science, and Christopher Clarke, of Atlanta, Ga., a graduate student in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, are now trying to determine whether the bacterium has the same effect on a pathogen causing a devastating disease of snap bean in Virginia. "This bacterium could potentially be used to protect crops from many different pathogens, but finding the best way to deploy it in the field is a challenge" said Vinatzer.

"We also found several genes in this bacterium that are similar to genes in a human pathogen, but fortunately know that this bacterium cannot cause disease in humans since it stops growing at 30 degrees Celsius," Vinatzer said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Sutphin
msutphin@vt.edu
540-231-6975
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. 2010 Student Conference on Conservation Science
2. 3 UAB students awarded prestigious Goldwater scholarships
3. UT Southwestern student receives fellowship from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
4. Students perceptions of Earths age influence acceptance of human evolution, says U of Minn. study
5. Biochemist researching computer models of protein structure that help high school, college students
6. MIT student inventor honored for transformative work in genomics and linguistics
7. Oregon State trains graduate students to be better TAs
8. Biophysical Society announces winners of 2010 Student Travel Awards
9. Students learn environmental stewardship, improve science scores
10. UT Southwestern receives $700,000 from HHMI to promote medical education of Ph.D. students
11. Stevens team wins First Place in ISPE Student Poster Competition
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Student research team sequences genome of bacterium discovered in Virginia Tech garden
(Date:6/30/2017)... 2017 Today, American Trucking Associations announced ... face and eye tracking software, became the newest ... "Artificial intelligence and advanced sensing ... a driver,s attentiveness levels while on the road.  ... detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, which could ...
(Date:6/14/2017)...  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative ... to developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place ... the event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have ... France is one ... a 30 percent increase in the number of startups created ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ), an innovative ... verification solutions, announced today they will participate as a ... thru May 17, 2017, in Washington D.C.,s ... Identity impacts the lives of billions ... evolving digital world, defining identity is critical to nearly ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The ... influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization ... progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and ... San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their ... 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today ... which its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb ... The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted ... saved as compared to standard bone marrow stem ... resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology: