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Endophytic colonization of olive roots by the biocontrol strain Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7

Prieto, Pilar, Mercado-Blanco, Jesús
FEMS microbiology ecology 2008 v.64 no.2 pp. 297-306
Olea europaea, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Verticillium wilt, bacteria, bacterial colonization, biological control, confocal microscopy, cortex, endophytes, green fluorescent protein, intercellular spaces, olives, roots, woody plants, xylem vessels
Confocal microscopy combined with three-dimensional olive root tissue sectioning was used to provide evidence of the endophytic behaviour of Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7, an effective biocontrol strain against Verticillium wilt of olive. Two derivatives of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), the enhanced green and the red fluorescent proteins, have been used to visualize simultaneously two differently fluorescently tagged populations of P. fluorescens PICF7 within olive root tissues at the single cell level. The time-course of colonization events of olive roots cv. Arbequina by strain PICF7 and the localization of tagged bacteria within olive root tissues are described. First, bacteria rapidly colonized root surfaces and were predominantly found in the differentiation zone. Thereafter, microscopy observations showed that PICF7-tagged populations eventually disappeared from the root surface, and increasingly colonized inner root tissues. Localized and limited endophytic colonization by the introduced bacteria was observed over time. Fluorescent-tagged bacteria were always visualized in the intercellular spaces of the cortex region, and no colonization of the root xylem vessels was detected at any time. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time this approach has been used to demonstrate endophytism of a biocontrol Pseudomonas spp. strain in a woody host such as olive using a nongnotobiotic system.