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    The ability of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae to use nitrate as a nitrogen source in culture and on leaves was assessed. Substantial amounts of leaf surface nitrate were detected directly and by use of a bioreporter of nitrate on bean plants grown with a variety of nitrogen sources. While a nitrate reductase mutant, P. syringae ΔnasB, exhibited greatly reduced growth in culture with nitrate as the sole nitrogen source, it exhibited population sizes similar to those of the wild-type strain on leaves. However, the growth of the ΔnasB mutant was much less than that of the wild-type strain when cultured in bean leaf washings supplemented with glucose, suggesting that P. syringae experiences primarily carbon-limited and only secondarily nitrogen-limited growth on bean leaves. Only a small proportion of the cells of a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based P. syringae nitrate reductase bioreporter, LK2(pOTNas4), exhibited fluorescence on leaves. This suggests that only a subset of cells experience high nitrate levels or that nitrate assimilation is repressed by the presence of ammonium or other nitrogenous compounds in many leaf locations. While only a subpopulation of P. syringae consumes nitrate at a given time on the leaves, the ability of those cells to consume this resource would be strongly beneficial to those cells, especially in environments in which nitrate is the most abundant form of nitrogen.


    Audrey Parangan-Smith, Steven Lindow. Contribution of nitrate assimilation to the fitness of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae B728a on plants. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2013 Jan;79(2):678-87

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    PMID: 23160124

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