Quorum sensing and phenazines are involved in biofilm formation by Pseudomonas chlororaphis (aureofaciens) strain 30-84. Academic Article uri icon


  • The biological control bacterium Pseudomonas chlororaphis (aureofaciens) strain 30-84 employs two quorum sensing (QS) systems: PhzR/PhzI regulates the production of the antibiotics phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, 2-hydroxy-phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, and 2-hydroxy-phenazine, whereas CsaR/CsaI regulates currently unknown aspects of the cell surface. Previously characterized derivatives of strain 30-84 with mutations in each QS system and in the phenazine biosynthetic genes were screened for their ability to form surface-attached biofilm populations in vitro, using microtiter plate and flow cell biofilm assays, and on seeds and roots. Results from in vitro, seed, and root studies demonstrated that the PhzR/PhzI and the CsaR/CsaI QS regulatory systems contribute to the establishment of biofilms, with mutations in PhzR/PhzI having a significantly greater effect than mutations in CsaR/CsaI. Interestingly, phenazine antibiotic production was necessary for biofilm formation to the same extent as the PhzR/PhzI QS system, suggesting the loss of phenazines was responsible for the majority of the biofilm defect in these mutants. In vitro analysis indicated that genetic complementation or AHL addition to the growth medium restored the ability of the AHL synthase phzI mutant to form biofilms. However, only phenazine addition or genetic complementation of the phenazine biosynthetic mutation in trans restored biofilm formation by mutants defective in the transcriptional activator phzR or the phzB structural mutant. QS and phenazine production were also involved in the establishment of surface-attached populations on wheat seeds and plant roots, and, as observed in vitro, the addition of AHL extracts restored the ability of phzI mutants, but not phzR mutants, to form surface attached populations on seeds. Similarly, the presence of the wild type in mixtures with the mutants restored the ability of the mutants to colonize wheat roots, demonstrating that AHL and/or phenazine production by the wild-type population could complement the AHL- and phenazine-deficient mutants in situ. Together, these data demonstrate that both QS systems are involved in the formation of surface-attached populations required for biofilm formation by P. chlororaphis strain 30-84, and indicate a new role for phenazine antibiotics in rhizosphere community development beyond inhibition of other plant-associated microorganisms.

published proceedings

  • Microb Ecol

author list (cited authors)

  • Maddula, V., Zhang, Z., Pierson, E. A., & Pierson, L. S.

citation count

  • 105

complete list of authors

  • Maddula, VSRK||Zhang, Z||Pierson, EA||Pierson, LS

publication date

  • January 1, 2006 11:11 AM