Plants exhibit complex interactions with microbes. Some of these interactions, such as the interaction of plant roots with mycorrhizal fungi may be beneficial, but microbial pathogens of plants can be devastating for the plant and seriously compromise crop yields.
The model plant-pathogen system comprising the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas syringae has been used very effectively to elucidate the nature of the pathogenic interaction.
The images on this site were taken during experiments to characterise the progression of bacterial colonisation of leaves of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana during an infection with Pseudomonas syringae. In the images below, plant cell chloroplasts are shown in red and green denotes invading bacteria. Plant leaves were infiltrated with a suspension of Pseudomonas bacteria in MgCl2 carrier solution, or just the carrier solution alone. We noticed that chloroplasts tended to “clump” together during the course of infection with bacteria, but not with the carrier solution alone and we’d really like to test this observation, so we set up this citizen science experiment and invite you to help us by classifying these images for “clumpiness”.
To read about some of the results from the Clumpy experiment see here.
Thanks for your help!