Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, Plant Science Division, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, U.K.
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Accepted 18 September 2000.
Improved conditions were used for the aseptic growth of Arabidopsis thaliana to investigate whether xylem colonization of A. thaliana by Azorhizobium caulinodans ORS571 might occur. When seedlings were inoculated with ORS571 (pXLGD4) tagged with the lacZ reporter gene, nearly all of the plants showed blue regions of ORS571 colonization at lateral root cracks (LRC). The flavonoids naringenin and liquiritigenin significantly stimulated colonization of LRC by ORS571. Blue bands of ORS571 (pXLGD4) bacteria were observed histochemically in the xylem of intact roots of inoculated plants. Detailed microscopic analysis of sections of primary and lateral roots from inoculated A. thaliana confirmed xylem colonization. Xylem colonization also occurred with an ORS571 nodC mutant deficient in nodulation factors. There was no significant difference in the percentage of plants with xylem colonization or in the mean length of xylem colonized per plant between plants inoculated with either ORS571 (pXLGD4) or ORS571::nodC (pXLGD4), with or without naringenin.
© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society