Production of the antibiotic phenazine-1-carboxylic acid by fluorescent Pseudomonas species in the rhizosphere of wheat Academic Article uri icon


  • Pseudomonas fluorescens 2-79 and P. aureofaciens 30-84 produce the antibiotic phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and suppress take-all, an important root disease of wheat caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici. To determine whether the antibiotic is produced in situ, wheat seeds were treated with strain 2-79 or 30-84 or with phenazine-nonproducing mutants or were left untreated and then were sown in natural or steamed soil in the field or growth chamber. The antibiotic was isolated only from roots of wheat colonized by strain 2-79 or 30-84 in both growth chamber and field studies. No antibiotic was recovered from the roots of seedlings grown from seeds treated with phenazine-nonproducing mutants or left untreated. In natural soils, comparable amounts of antibiotic (27 to 43 ng/g of root with adhering soil) were recovered from roots colonized by strain 2-79 whether or not the pathogen was present. Roots of plants grown in steamed soil yielded larger bacterial populations and more antibiotic than roots from natural soils. In steamed and natural soils, roots from which the antibiotic was recovered had significantly less disease than roots with no antibiotic, indicating that suppression of take-all is related directly to the presence of the antibiotic in the rhizosphere.

published proceedings

  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology

author list (cited authors)

  • Thomashow, L. S., Weller, D. M., Bonsall, R. F., & Pierson, L. S.

complete list of authors

  • Thomashow, LS||Weller, DM||Bonsall, RF||Pierson, LS

publication date

  • April 1990