Environmental health and toxicology

Immigrant Pantoea agglomerans embedded within indigenous microbial aggregates:A novel spatial distribution of epiphytic bacteria

Qing Yu , Anzhou Ma , Mengmeng Cui , Xuliang Zhuang , Guoqiang Zhuang


Received March 18, 2013,Revised May 30, 2013, Accepted , Available online January 27, 2014

Volume ,2014,Pages 398-403

Immigrant bacteria located on leaf surfaces are important to the health of plants as well as to people who consume fresh fruits and vegetables. However, the spatial distribution and organization of these immigrant bacteria on leaf surfaces are still poorly understood. To examine the spatial organization of these strains, two bacterial strains on tobacco leaves: (1) an indigenous strain, Pseudomonas stutzeri Nov. Y2011 labeled with green fluorescent protein, and (2) an immigrant strain Pantoea agglomerans labeled with cyan fluorescent protein isolated from pear, were studied. Under moist conditions, P. agglomerans cells quickly disappeared from direct observation by laser-scanning confocal microscopy, although elution results indicated that large amounts of live cells were still present on the leaves. Following exposure to desiccation stress, particles of cyan fluorescent protein-labeled P. agglomerans were visible within cracked aggregates of P. stutzeri Nov. Y2011. Detailed observation of sectioned aggregates showed that colonies of immigrant P. agglomerans were embedded within aggregates of P. stutzeri Nov. Y2011. Furthermore, carbon-resource partitioning studies suggested that these two species could coexist without significant nutritional competition. This is the first observation of an immigrant bacterium embedding within aggregates of indigenous bacteria on leaves to evade harsh conditions in the phyllosphere.

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