Antibody-based detection and quantification of Pectobacterium carotovorum ssp. carotovorum
Pectobacterium carotovorum ssp. carotovorum (Pcc) is implicated in the destruction of ornamental plants in greenhouse recirculating systems. PCR-based detection and quantification of Pcc requires expensive instrumentation and knowledgeable users. This thesis describes the production of polyclonal antibodies and a single-domain antibody fragment (VHH) against Pcc lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the development of user- friendly diagnostic assays for detection and quantification of the pathogen. Polyclonal ELISAs against heat-killed (HK) Pcc (limit of detection (LOD) = 81 CFU/ml; limit of quantitation (LOQ) = 216 CFU/ml) and Pcc LPS (LOD = 23 ng/ml; LOQ = 76 ng/ml) were developed. A preliminary user-friendly dipstick assay was also developed (? 105 CFU/ml). A phage display library was constructed (6.0 x 105 clones/ml), yielding one unique anti-Pcc LPS VHH. Using the Pcc LPS-specific VHH to produce affordable, user- friendly diagnostic assays is feasible since antibody fragments can be produced on a large scale through expression in Escherichia coli or Piccia pastoris.