Data for: Versatile use of Azospirillum brasilense strains tagged with gfp and mCherry genes for visualization of biofilm associated with wheat roots.
This study reports the introduction of egfp or mCherry markers to the Sp245, Sp7, and M40 wild-type strains of Azospirillum brasilense and the hhkB (encoding for a putative hybrid histidine kinase) minus mutant an isogenic strain of A. brasilense Sp245 to monitor colonization of wheat (Triticum aestivum). Two plasmids were constructed: (1) the pJMS-2 suicide plasmid derived from pSUP202 and harboring the mCherry gene expressed under the constitutive kanamycin resistance promoter to create a cis tag and (2) the broad-range plasmid pMP2449-5 that carries the mCherry gene under the lac promoter, which is derived from the plasmid pMP2444; to create the in trans tag. The stability of the plasmids encoding egfp and mCherry were confirmed in vitro for seven days of bacterial growth, and then, the A. brasilense strains harboring the plasmids were studied under nonselective conditions for adherence to seeds and, at seven or 14 days post-inoculation, for wheat root colonization. The utility of the labeled strains was proven by observation, using fluorescence microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) in wheat plants inoculated with the labeled strains and compared with the CFU g–1 for seed and wheat root. The method was suitable for observation of the in situ formation of mini-colonies, enabled visualization of bacterial colonization sites on large root fragments, and showed adherence to germinated seeds and root colonization of all strains by cell counts and direct microscopic examination. Thus, we are able to quantify the structures of the biofilms formed by each strain.