Assessing the diversity of agrobacterial populations

Abstract : Agrobacterium are Alphaproteobacteria common in most soils that closely interact with plants in two respects. Firstly, they are rhizospheric bacteria saprophytically living in the rhizosphere of numerous plants and they are likely beneficial to plants. Secondly, when they harbor a dispensable Ti plasmid (i.e. tumor inducing plasmid), agrobacteria are plant pathogens able to cause the crown gall disease to most dicots and gymnosperms and some monocots. An epidemiological survey of crown gall thus also requires expert determination of the Agrobacterium taxonomy. In this thesis we evaluated the usefulness of MALDI-TOF MS technique as a high throughput tool to determine and classify agrobacteria. Then we set up a recA-based PCR method to accurately and exhaustively assess agrobacterial diversity either of isolated agrobacteria or directly in various biotopes. We applied standard biochemical, recA-based and Ti plasmid-based identification methods to study the prevalence of pathogenic and non-pathogenic agrobacteria at the country and local scales. Finally, we tested whether analyzing the internal composition of recA amplicons could be a way to directly assess the micro-diversity of agrobacterial populations using cloning sequencing or pyrosequencing approaches. The later methodology was applied to establish the actual field diversity of Agrobacterium and to evaluate whether plant genotypes differentially select agrobacteria in their root systems, providing first data upon biotic factors shaping the population structure of agrobacteria
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Malek Shams. Assessing the diversity of agrobacterial populations. Agricultural sciences. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012LYO10293⟩. ⟨tel-00984505⟩

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