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dc.contributor.authorCarder, Phyllisen_US

Little is known about how the leaf bacterial community is affected by the seed microbiota at different stages of plant development. The bacterial populations of spinach seed and leaves after germination were compared using DGGE, to assess bacterial community richness, and real-time PCR to compare the abundance of select phyla (total bacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, α-Proteobacteria and β- Proteobacteria). To determine the effect of environment, the plants were grown in the field and growth chambers. Vertical transmission of bacterial community members was evident; the developmental stage of the plant affected the richness and abundance of select bacterial phyla. The bacterial richness of plants grown in the two environments was not affected. However, overall numbers of bacteria increased in field grown samples in comparison to those produced in growth chambers during development. A statistically significant interaction was seen between growth stage and environment with each of the selected phyla. Populations on cotyledons were smaller than mature leaves, but were not significantly different than the 3-4 leaf stage plants. The culturable populations of bacteria on seeds (~5 log CFU/g) were significantly smaller than determined using real time PCR (~7 log copies). Of these bacteria cultured from spinach seeds, isolates belonging to the genera Pantoea were found to inhibit growth of E. coli O157:H7 in vitro. This study highlights the importance of vertical transmission on the bacterial community of plants and suggests the importance of developing strategies to influence these communities on seed to control human and plant pathogens on the leaf surface.

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectmicrobial antagonismen_US
dc.subjectmicrobial diversityen_US
dc.subjectmicrobial abundanceen_US
dc.subjectmicrobial communityen_US
dc.titleMicrobial Communities of Spinach at Various Stages of Plant Growth From Seed to Maturityen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFreeman, Joshua H.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWilliams, Robert C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeecochairWelbaum, Gregory E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeecochairPonder, Monica A.en_US

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