Screening for physiological characteristics that contribute to the virulence of Ralstonia solanacearum GMI1000
Ratnayake, Ayomi Samantha
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In this study I have developed a preliminary method to screen the genome of R. solanacearum GMI1000 for traits or genes that contribute to the virulence in tomato plants. The BLAST algorithm was used to identify genes hypothesized as contributing to virulence. These target genes were interrupted to abolish activity. Mutants with attenuated virulence were screened by petiole-inoculating tomato plants and recording wilting disease symptoms. My results showed that from the five genes evaluated, functional inactivation of peptide methionine sulfoxide reductase (msrA) and trans-zeatin synthesis (tzs) genes attenuated the ability to produce wilt disease symptoms. Mutations in sucrose-6-phosphate hydrolase (scrB), protocatechuate 3,4-dioxygenase (pcaH), and ethylene-forming enzyme (efe) genes did not seem to affect the virulence of R. solanacearum GMI1000.