Molecular characterization of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato isolates derived from an outbreak of bacterial speck disease in the Immokalee region of Florida
This summer I studied the interaction between tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and eightPseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) isolates from the Immokalee region of Florida. Pst is the causative agent of bacterial speck disease, which leads to decreased market value of tomato fruits. Characterization of the isolates included bacterial leaf infiltration into both susceptible and resistant tomato leaves, bacterial growth assays, PCR, cloning, and sequencing to determine if the isolates contain the AvrPto and AvrPtoB effector genes. The results of this project will be used to determine if the resistance gene Pto should be introduced into Florida’s tomatoes in order to prevent future outbreaks of bacterial speck disease in the region.