In vitro plant pathology
In 1973, Peter Carlson was the first to demonstrate that tissue culture could be used to select for pathogen resistance in plants. In 1986, Roger Beachy's laboratory successfully incorporated a coat protein of Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) into tobacco cells, endowing the plants with resistance to subsequent viral infections and significantly delaying disease development. This chapter focuses on the use of suspension cells to monitor plant cell responses to pathogenic bacteria. Successful recognition of a potential pathogen triggers various inherent defense mechanisms and in many cases results in a hypersensitive response (HR). The chapter focuses on the measurement of the K+/H+ response and the subsequent hypersensitive cell death of suspension cells inoculated with bacteria. It demonstrates the use of cell suspensions to monitor plant recognition responses. Tobacco and soybean plants are used for initiating suspension cell cultures and for testing the pathogenicity of bacteria used in subsequent suspension cell assays.