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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Apr;78(6):1033-43. doi: 10.1007/s00253-008-1398-1. Epub 2008 Mar 5.

Colonization pattern of plant root and leaf surfaces visualized by use of green-fluorescent-marked strain of Methylobacterium suomiense and its persistence in rhizosphere.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Chungbuk, Republic of Korea.


The localization of bacterial cell, pattern of colonization, and survival of Methylobacterium suomiense CBMB120 in the rhizosphere of rice and tomato plants were followed by confocal laser scanning, scanning electron microscopy, and selective plating. M. suomiense CBMB120 was tagged with green fluorescent protein (gfp), and inoculation was carried out through seed source. The results clearly showed that the gfp marker is stably inherited and is expressed in planta allowing for easy visualization of M. suomiense CBMB120. The colonization differed in rice and tomato -- intercellular colonization of surface-sterilized root sections was visible in tomato but not in rice. In both rice and tomato, the cells were visible in the substomatal chambers of leaves. Furthermore, the strain was able to compete with the indigenous microorganisms and persist in the rhizosphere of tomato and rice, assessed through dilution plating on selective media. The detailed ultra-structural study on the rhizosphere colonization by Methylobacterium put forth conclusively that M. suomiense CBMB120 colonize the roots and leaf surfaces of the plants studied and is transmitted to the aerial plant parts from the seed source.

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