A new utilization of the biolistic gun was developed for the direct introduction of nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Azotobacter vinelandii) into strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa) tissues. This was the first case of using living bacteria as microprojectiles for the bombardment of plant tissues. Bacterial cells, adhered to tungsten particles, were accelerated by a nitrogen-powered device, and delivered into the target leaves and regenerating shoot meristems. The presence of bacteria in the developing strawberry callus tissues and regenerating plants was detected by microscopy, acetylene reduction assay, and selective polymerase chain reaction. Practically, the elaborated method proved to be suitable for the establishment of artificial intercellular associations between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and higher plants.
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Vol. 39 • No. 5