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Is the ability of biocontrol fluorescent pseudomonads to produce the antifungal metabolite 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol really synonymous with higher plant protection?
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The antifungal compound 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (Phl) contributes to biocontrol in pseudomonads, but whether or not Phl(+) biocontrol pseudomonads display higher plant-protecting activity than Phl(-) biocontrol pseudomonads remains to be demonstrated. This issue was addressed by assessing 230 biocontrol fluorescent pseudomonads selected from a collection of 3132 bacterial isolates obtained from 63 soils worldwide. One-third of the biocontrol pseudomonads were Phl(+) and almost all Phl(+) isolates also produced hydrogen cyanide (HCN). The only Phl(+) HCN(-) strain did harbor hcn genes, but with the deletion of a 134 bp hcnC fragment corresponding to an ADP-binding motif. Statistical analysis of biocontrol isolate distributions indicated that Phl production ability was associated with superior disease suppression activity in the Pythium-cucumber and Fusarium-tomato pathosystems, but this was also the case with HCN production ability. However, HCN significance was not as strong, as indicated both by the comparison of Phl(-) HCN(+) and Phl(-) HCN(-) strains and by correlation analyses. This is the first population-level demonstration of the higher plant-protecting activity of Phl(+) biocontrol pseudomonads in comparison with Phl(-) biocontrol pseudomonads.
Antibiosis, Antifungal Agents/metabolism, Cucumis sativus/microbiology, Fungi/growth & development, Fusarium/growth & development, Hydrogen Cyanide/metabolism, Lycopersicon esculentum/microbiology, Phloroglucinol/analogs & derivatives, Phloroglucinol/metabolism, Plant Roots/microbiology, Plants/microbiology, Pseudomonas fluorescens/isolation & purification, Pseudomonas fluorescens/metabolism, Pythium/growth & development, Soil Microbiology
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