Antibiotic treatment of systemic bacterial plant pathogens is an established practice in many crops; however, in citrus it has only recently become available for growers to utilize against Huanglongbing disease. The preliminary efficacy of these treatments is uncertain due to the inability to track their presence in phloem. The need to monitor their movement in planta, especially their presence and translocation in vascular tissue, is a necessary step in clarifying their effectiveness. Previous work has shown the value of Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) in distinguishing between fluorescent probes and plant tissue autofluorescence, which is normally a barrier in photochemical studies in plants. Our aim in this thesis was the synthesis and characterization of a fluorescent antibiotic conjugate that could be utilized for tracking in citrus tissue, with the specific goal of identifying movement through citrus plant phloem. Conjugation of streptomycin sulfate, a commercially available antibiotic, to a modified tris(bipyridine) ruthenium (II) chloride, a dye with desirable photophysical properties, was achieved via EDC:NHS coupling. Further studies were performed illustrating the characteristics and kinetics of this conjugate in planta, which showed that the conjugate had an increase in excited state lifetime upon introduction to a biological environment. Subsequent translocation experiments yielded results indicating that the conjugated antibiotic moves systemically upwards after 48 hours but fails to move down towards the root system of the plant after 168 hours.
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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)
Parente, Ryan, "Synthesis of Ruthenium Bipyridine Conjugated Antibiotic for Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging and Spectroscopy Aided Tracking in Citrus" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 449.