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Bioluminescent Clavibacter Michiganensis

Research & Design Tools
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES)
Miller, Sally
Rajashekara, Gireesh
Xu, Xiulan
Licensing Manager
Dahlman, Jason "Jay"

T2008-116 Bioluminescent Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies michiganensis (Cmm) strains are used as a tool for monitoring and developing disease control products for tomatoes

The Need

Currently, there are no tomato varieties that are resistant to Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies michiganensis (Cmm). Furthermore, Cmm-plant interactions are poorly understood. Developing an understanding of Cmm strains will allow growers to develop products that are highly active against this pathogen. There is no effective method of treating Cmm and the focus is primarily on prevention.

The Technology

Researchers at the Ohio State University, led by Dr. Sally Miller, have developed bioluminescent Cmm strains that can be used as a tool to develop disease resistance products to control the pathogen. Recombinant bioluminescent Cmm combined with an appropriate imaging system will allow for fast screening of active products against Cmm as the light emittance is positively correlated with the number of bacterial cells present in the vegetable. This development allows for a simple and rapid quantification of Cmm products and presents a method for quantifying and visualizing in vivo interactions.

Commercial Applications

  • Rapid screening tool for crop protection products
  • Agricultural research
    • Evaluating Cmm seed treatments
    • Facilitating studies of pathogenicity
    • Developing control strategies


  • Increases ease and rapidity of quantifying Cmm in product screening tests
  • Cmm strain is bioluminescent
    • Amount of light emitted is positively correlated with the number of bacterial cells present
    • Only living cells emit light