An Innovative Root Inoculation Method to Study Ralstonia solanacearum Pathogenicity in Tomato Seedlings

N SinghS K Ray


In this study, we report Ralstonia solanacearum pathogenicity in the early stages of tomato seedlings by an innovative root inoculation method. Pathogenicity assays were performed under gnotobiotic conditions in microfuge tubes by employing only 6- to 7-day-old tomato seedlings for root inoculation. Tomato seedlings inoculated by this method exhibited the wilted symptom within 48 h and the virulence assay can be completed in 2 weeks. Colonization of the wilted seedlings by R. solanacearum was confirmed by using gus staining as well as fluorescence microscopy. Using this method, mutants in different virulence genes such as hrpB, phcA, and pilT could be clearly distinguished from wild-type R. solanacearum. The method described here is economic in terms of space, labor, and cost as well as the required quantity of bacterial inoculum. Thus, the newly developed assay is an easy and useful approach for investigating virulence functions of the pathogen at the seedling stage of hosts, and infection under these conditions appears to require pathogenicity mechanisms used by the pathogen for infection of adult plants.


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