The chemical, physical, and biological properties of bacteria developing resistance have been explored in animal based bacteria while plant bacteria have been largely neglected. Thus, the ability to probe changes in stiffness, adhesion, binding interactions and molecular traits of bacteria causing plant diseases is of great interest to develop a new generation of more potent, yet sustainable, pesticides. Our study aims to investigate the physical and chemical properties of bacterial systems, in particular their cell walls. Building upon this fundamental understanding of the cells, we also investigate the physicochemical responses associated to multivalent nanoparticle-based bactericide treatments on bacterial systems identified as pathogens in plant diseases. Here our efforts focus on developing a protocol for the fundamental understanding of Xanthomonas perforans, a strain known for causing bacterial spot in tomatoes and causing close to 50% losses in production. To support the design and accelerate the development of pesticides and treatments against this disease, we evaluate the changes bacteria undergo in the presence of the treatment. Using a silica nanoparticle-based treatment designed with a shell containing multivalent copper and quaternary ammonium, we compare bacteria pre- and post-treatment with infrared spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based techniques, and TIRF microscopy. Statistical data analysis enables the identification of attributes that can potentially serve as markers to track the bacterial responses to the treatment in the future. Finally, we will discuss the exciting implications of this work, such as potential clues for the development of more potent treatments for resistant bacteria.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Graduate Studies
Nanoscience Technology Center
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lee, Briana, "A Multisystem Approach for the Characterization of Bacteria for Sustainable Agriculture" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5834.