Lab #2 and Lectures on Bacteria by Rajan Patel

Today we had our second lab where we made and poured our growth plates and broths that we will use to grow our cultures from the gardens. Each group was assigned a different type of media to prepare and we mixed all of the ingredients and autoclaved our mixtures then poured out plates. We made 5 different types of plates and a KB liquid broth. We made YDC medium, KB plates for our upcoming Pseudomonas syringae infection on Arabidopsis plants,V8 plates for  our upcoming fungal phytopathogen lab, and YPD plates for our upcoming bacterial phytopathogen lab.

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In lecture we have been learning about the different mechanisms bacteria use to attack the plant as well as how the plant fights back with its immune responses. We discussed the popular zig zag model of plant pathogen interactions too see how the plant can change its amplitude of defense by different triggers from bacteria. We learned how the plant recognizes the bacteria using receptors located outside of the cell which initiates defense responses within the cells. We went into detail in exactly how these receptors work and how proteins bind to different sites to trigger different responses. I found it interesting that the plant has a system that allows it to kill the entire plant if it cannot get rid of the bacteria infection. The most amazing thing I learned was that humans and the Arabidopsis genome both have 27,000 genes but that humans can make a total of 32,000 different genes because of the different ways they are spliced.

In Dr. Xinran Du’s lecture we learned more about what bacteria are and how they grow and are identified. There are two main types, gram positive and gram negative and the process of how to distinguish between the two. We learned about how different bacteria have different nutritional requirements to grow in and the many ways to distinguish bacteria in the lab such as fatty profile analysis and serological methods. We talked about the different ways bacteria and disease spread through crops and the signs of the growth and symptoms of an infection. I found it interesting how abnormal cell growth even in plants causes tumors as well, so maybe we can learn something about cancer from trees and maybe help us get closer to a cure.

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