it is possible that different species of bacteria are infesting the plant
tissue at the same time and reproduce during incubation. Therefore, the inquiry-based pathogen virulence experiment may be
complicated by a mixed culture of inoculum, which may yield conflicting results across repeated trials. Also, the bleach disinfestation
technique is not 100% effective at eliminating all bacteria, so some
of the mock-inoculated potatoes may exhibit soft rot. Unexpected
symptoms may be critically discussed by the students as they troubleshoot their experiments.
Additional support material and tutorial videos are available at
We thank Pramita Basnal for her assistance with testing experimental conditions related to inoculation and incubation with soft rot
Agrios, G.N. (2004). Plant Pathology, 5th Ed. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Bhat, K.A., Masood, S.D., Bhat, N.A., Bhat, M.A., Razvi, S.M., Mir, M.R. et al.
(2010). Current state of post harvest soft rot in vegetables: a review.
Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 9, 200–208.
Collmer, A. & Keen, N. T. (1986). The role of pectic enzymes in plant
pathogenesis. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 24, 383–409.
Czajkowski, R., Pérombelon, M.C.M., Jafra, S., Lojkowska, E., Potrykus, M.,
van der Wolf, J.M. & Sledz, W. (2015). Detection, identification and
differentiation of Pectobacterium and Dickeya species causing potato
blackleg and tuber soft rot: a review. Annals of Applied Biology, 166,
Johnson, S.B. (2015). Blackleg and bacterial soft rot. University of Maine
CooperativeExtensionBulletin2493.Re trieved from https://extension.
Kentucky Department of Education (2015). Kentucky Academic Standards:
June 2015. Retrieved from https://education.ky.gov/curriculum/
Mansfield, J., Genin S., Magori S., Citovsky V., Sriariyanum, M., Ronald, P. et
al. (2012). Top 10 plant pathogenic bacteria in molecular plant
pathology. Molecular Plant Pathology, 13, 614–629.
National Research Council (2012). A Framework for K–12 Science
Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas.
Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Pérombelon, M.C.M. (1992). Potato blackleg: epidemiology, host–pathogen
interaction and control. Netherlands Journal of Plant Pathology, 98
(Supplement 2), 135–146.
Pérombelon, M.C.M. & Lowe, R. (1975). Studies on the initiation of bacterial
soft rot in potato tubers. Potato Research, 18, 64–82.
R. LOUIS HIRSCH is a Lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at the
University of Kentucky, 201F Plant Science Building, 1405 Veterans Dr.,
Lexington, KY 40546-0312; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. SETH MILLER is a
Science Teacher at Leestown Middle School, 2010 Leestown Rd., Lexington,
KY 40511; email: email@example.com. DENNIS HALTERMAN is
a Research Geneticist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural
Research Service Vegetable Crops Research Unit, 1575 Linden Dr.,
Madison, WI 53706-1514; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit msbio.unk.edu
or email email@example.com
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