Contribution of phenazine antibiotic biosynthesis to the ecological competence of fluorescent pseudomonads in soil habitats. Academic Article uri icon


  • Phenazine antibiotics produced by Pseudomonas fluorescens 2-79 and Pseudomonas aureofaciens 30-84, previously shown to be the principal factors enabling these bacteria to suppress take-all of wheat caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici, also contribute to the ecological competence of these strains in soil and in the rhizosphere of wheat. Strains 2-79 and 30-84, their Tn5 mutants defective in phenazine production (Phz-), or the mutant strains genetically restored for phenazine production (Phz+) were introduced into Thatuna silt loam (TSL) or TSL amended with G. graminis var. tritici. Soils were planted with three or five successive 20-day plant-harvest cycles of wheat. Population sizes of Phz- derivatives declined more rapidly than did population sizes of the corresponding parental or restored Phz+ strains. Antibiotic biosynthesis was particularly critical to survival of these strains during the fourth and fifth cycles of wheat in the presence of G. graminis var. tritici and during all five cycles of wheat in the absence of take-all. In pasteurized TSL, a Phz- derivative of strain 30-84 colonized the rhizosphere of wheat to the same extent that the parental strain did. The results indicate that production of phenazine antibiotics by strains 2-79 and 30-84 can contribute to the ecological competence of these strains and that the reduced survival of the Phz- strains is due to a diminished ability to compete with the resident microflora.

published proceedings

  • Appl Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Mazzola, M., Cook, R. J., Thomashow, L. S., Weller, D. M., & Pierson, L. S.

citation count

  • 311

complete list of authors

  • Mazzola, M||Cook, RJ||Thomashow, LS||Weller, DM||Pierson, LS

publication date

  • August 1992