Quantifying the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Plant Colonization by Beneficial Bacteria in a Microfluidic Habitat

Quantifying the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Plant Colonization by Beneficial Bacteria in a Microfluidic Habitat

Scientific Achievement
A custom-fabricated microfluidic platform was used to visualize physical interactions between plant roots and beneficial bacteria (hi-res image)

A custom-fabricated microfluidic platform was used to culture and quantify the colonization kinetics and spatial distribution of beneficial bacteria on plant roots. 

Significance and Impact

The ability to image dynamic interactions between organisms opens the door to formulating and answering questions about ecological community development that cannot be accomplished in natural systems.

Research Details

– A microfluidic habitat provides high environmental control so that precise amounts of bacteria can be applied to specific areas of the plant root.

– Results show that two bacteria species inhabit different spatial niches along the plant root.

– Over time, the characteristics of the plant and bacterial colonies change depending on the quantity of bacteria initially added to the system. 

A. Aufrecht, C. M. Timm, A. Bible, J. L. Morrell-Falvey, D. A. Pelletier, M. J. Doktycz, S. T. Retterer, Quantifying the spatiotemporal dynamics of plant root colonization by beneficial bacteria in a microfluidic habitat," Advanced Biosystems 1800048, 1-12 (2018).  DOI: 10.1002/adbi.201800048

CNMS Researchers

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