Image of the Day: Root Rave
Pea plant (Pisum sativum) roots that have been inoculated with engineered Rhizobia bacteria glow in the presence of certain proteins.
Pea plant (Pisum sativum) roots, one control (left) and one glowing (right) following inoculation with Rhizobia bacteria that have been engineered to express light in the presence of nitrogenase enzymes
ALISON EAST, DEPARTMENT OF PLANT SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Plant biologists in the U.K. developed engineered bacteria as reporters to alert them to the presence and location of certain molecules secreted by plant roots.
(See F. Pini et al., “Lux bacterial biosensors for in vivo spatiotemporal mapping of root secretion,” Plant Physiology, doi:10.1104/pp.16.01302, 2017.)