Navigation Links
Wine vine: Microscopic photography reveals bacteria destroying grape plant cell wall
Date:3/14/2010

AUDIO: Like a band of detectives surveying the movement of a criminal, researchers using photographic technology have caught at least one culprit in the act. In this case, electron...

Click here for more information.

COLLEGE STATION Like a band of detectives surveying the movement of a criminal, researchers using photographic technology have caught at least one culprit in the act.

In this case, electron microscopy was used to watch a deadly bacteria breakdown cell walls in wine grape plants an image that previously had not been witnessed. The study will be published in Botany.

"Basically, we've been interested in determining how the bacteria moves," said Dr. B. Greg Cobb, Texas AgriLife Research plant physiologist in College Station. "How do they go from one part of the plant to another?"

The death of wine grape plants from Pierce's Disease is a serious threat to wineries from Texas to California, Cobb noted, and no one has been able to stop or reverse the effects of the bacteria that is injected into the vines by an insect known as the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

The bacteria that causes Pierce's Disease, Xylella fastidiosa, colonizes a plant over a period of time causing it to weaken and die.

"It can be a matter of a few years or more quickly, but plants tend to stop producing before they die, so growers will pull them out of a vineyard," Cobb said.

Cobb and his team of researchers zeroed in on the "matchstick" effect of Pierce's Disease. Plants suffering from the disease drop their leaves, but the petiole - or stem that connects a leaf to the vine - remains, resembling a matchstick. This occurs over the length of the vine no matter where the initial insect injection occurred, Cobb explained.

"We've been looking at that area because we think that is a very important indicator of Pierce's Disease, but it also indicates that something is going on there," he explained.

The xylem of a plant is like a pipe with a spring in it which transports nourishing water to various parts of the plant. The bacteria that causes Pierce's Disease, Xylella fastidiosa, moves through the plant in this way.

"What is happening is that the bacteria is actually able to degrade and move through these very thin parts of the cell wall between the xylem elements," Cobb said. "You can actually see them in the 'pit membranes' that are the borders between adjacent cell walls."

The researchers focused the electron microscope at 100,000th of a millimeter along the pit membrane. The membrane normally blocks larger particles from passing through the pits that are located in the xylem, but high-level photographs show the bacteria breaking down the membrane in order to get through the plant.

Cobb said the study examined syrah and cabernet sauvignon plants because they have been known to be impacted by Pierce's Disease. In the field, they selected leaves that were still viable but had some "scorching" or water stress which indicated the disease was present.

"Then we isolated that very small part at the pit membrane and down the stem or petiole and looked at the xylem there," Cobb said. "To basically see the breakdown of the pit membranes had not been seen before."

Water stress contributes to the death of the Pierce's Disease-infected plant, he added, but it may not be the only factor.

With this information and the photographs to illustrate the process, Cobb's team continues to study the disease in hopes of figuring out what could be done to help an infected plant live longer.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Smithsonian scientists working to save microscopic threatened species
2. Fine print: New technique allows fast printing of microscopic electronics
3. Coating copies microscopic biological surfaces
4. Microscopic morphology adds to the scorpion family tree
5. Mighty diatoms: Global climate feedback from microscopic algae
6. Michigan State University study sheds light on microscopic flower petal ridges
7. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
8. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
9. Neural stem cell study reveals mechanism that may play role in cancer
10. New method reveals substances on surfaces of any kind
11. Study reveals predation-evolution link
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Wine vine: Microscopic photography reveals bacteria destroying grape plant cell wall
(Date:1/8/2016)... MANCHESTER, United Kingdom , Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... sensor-based diagnostic products, today announced the closing of a $9 ... investors.  Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate ... device for detecting early-stage pressure ulcers. ... after receiving CE Mark approval. The device,s introduction has been ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... , Jan. 7, 2016 Various factors ... biopharmaceutical products such as biologics and biosimilars. Some ... reduce healthcare expenditure, growing demand for cost-effective alternatives, ... population. Biosimilars are similar versions of their corresponding ... to their quality, safety, and efficacy. The global ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... Jan. 6, 2016 Based on its ... & Sullivan recognizes MorphoTrak, LLC, a U.S. subsidiary ... Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award. ... technology, Morpho Wave™ , has consolidated the company,s ... biometrics market. Morpho Wave is a highly ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... and MENLO PARK, Calif. , ... DMPI) ("DelMar" and the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company focused on ... that it will present at the 18 th ... 8, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST in New ... DelMar,s president and CEO, will provide an update on the ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... the fostering and monetization of intellectual property, today provided ... Uniden in the Northern District of Texas ... forward.  Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") ... Patent Office.  The IPR was initiated on only certain ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Strasbourg, France , to the US ... Strasbourg, France , to the US company Advanced Bioscience ... announce that it acted as an advisor to Transgene on ... Strasbourg, France , to the US company Advanced Bioscience ... Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member of Institut Mérieux, is ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016  Discovery Laboratories, Inc. ... on developing aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory ... has approved an inducement award as a component ... its newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.  ... Committee on February 1, 2016 and granted as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: