Weekly post by Alison Johnston

During this week of Outpace at UAB we made KB liquid and solid media for the Pseudomonas syringae infection experiment. We reflected on the findings from our first garden visit and the different people we met there. Unfortunately,  we did not make it to the community gardens this week due to rain. From the lecture we learned that plants have strong vigorous immune systems and there are eight genera of phytopathogenic bacteria. Most bacteria are gram negative, rod shaped and generally can’t invade healthy tissue without a wound or opening to infect. We finished the week off doing Pseudomonas syringae infection on Arabidopsis plants. I throughly enjoyed injecting plants. It was a tricky task at first, but I got the hang of it after a few attempts. I felt as if I was a plant doctor for a day. ☺ Next week we are going to check for signs of resistance from the bacterium. The Outpace program is a great hands on learning environment, I encourage anyone who has a love for plants or just want to learn more about plant pathology and microbiology to go check it out.
Alison Johnston, Outpace Student
Here is our Outpace week 2 in pictures!
imageA slide from Dr. Mukhtar’s lecture on P. syringe infection protocol.

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We’re starting the infection by spinning down the bacterial culture and diluting the pellet to a required Optical Density (OD).

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Each of us got 36 plants to infect. Half of them were wild type resistant plants Columbia-0 and the other half were the hypersusceptible npr1 mutant plants. We marked leaves to be infected using permanent markers.

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Then we pressure-infiltrated the marked leaves using small needleless syringes. The inoculated plants went back to the growth room and we will check them out in three days to evaluate symptoms and take samples for colony count.

It was a fun experiment!

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