Protocols for the Identification of Phyllosphere-Induced Pollutant Degradation Genes

  • Tanja R. ScheublinEmail author
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


It is well known that plants can improve air quality by the absorption, accumulation, and degradation of organic pollutants. Bacteria that are living on plant leaf surfaces, the so-called phyllosphere, are also capable of organic pollutant degradation. However, their relative contribution and the factors that influence their degradative capacity are largely unknown. Transcriptional profiling can be a valuable technique to shed further light upon the process of phyllosphere-associated biodegradation. The protocol in this chapter describes the inoculation, harvesting, and recovery of RNA from phyllosphere bacteria. With this protocol, environmental conditions which influence the expression of pollutant degradation genes can be identified. As an example, the technique has been used to demonstrate that the phyllosphere itself is a stimulating environment for the expression of (chloro)phenol degradation genes.


Chlorophenol degradation Gene expression Phyllosphere Plant leaf RNA Transcriptome 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbial EcologyNetherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)WageningenThe Netherlands

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