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McNellis Lab Findings Shed Light on Nutritional Requirements of Erwinia amylovora and Lead to Novel Biotechnological Tool

Posted: September 19, 2014

Graduate student Laura Ramos-Sepulveda is the first author of a paper to be published in the November issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Graduate student Laura Ramos-Sepulveda is the first author of a paper to be published in the November issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology titled “Mutation of the Erwinia amylovora argD Gene Causes Arginine Auxotrophy, Non-pathogenicity in Apple and Reduced Virulence in Pear.”  Brian Lehman, Kari Peter, and Tim McNellis are co-authors.  Their results indicate that E. amylovora bacteria cannot obtain the amino acid arginine from their host, but must produce their own supply.   This facilitated the development of a novel plasmid that is stably maintained in E. amylovora cells growing in apple trees over long periods of time, something which was not previously possible.  This type of biotechnology tool had so far been demonstrated only in animal and human pathogenic systems.