Human Antimicrobial Resistance in Plant Pathogens P. syringae and E. amylovora

Clayton Taylor Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Mike Trombley Butler University
Resistance to antimicrobial peptides (APs), an organism’s “natural antibiotics”, is a growing concern for both humans and plants, as microbes continue to develop and improve resistance over time. The transfer of AP resistance genes between bacteria is especially important, as it can create strains of bacteria that are resistant to the human immune system, last-line-of-defense antibiotics, and compounds important for agriculture. This project aims to investigate two plant pathogens, P. syringae and E. amylovora, and their level of resistance to two humans APs, HBD-3 and LL-37. Both strains were grown and treated with biologically relevant concentrations of APs and examined for signs of resistance. While P. syringae did not display resistance, E. amylovora exhibited significant resistance to both HBD-3 and LL-37 at all three concentrations. This result suggests that bacteria such as E. amylovora and its human pathogenic cousins either share ancestral genes that confer resistance to APs or that a horizontal transfer of AP resistance genes may be occurring between inter-kingdom pathogenic bacteria. This experiment and its results carry important implications regarding plant antibiotic treatment, as any acquired resistance of plant bacteria may have the possibility to be transferred to a strain that is pathogenic to humans or other organisms.
Biology
Oral Presentation

When & Where

12:00 PM
Gallahue Hall 102