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The plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa 7NSK2 produces three siderophores when iron is limited: the yellow-green fluorescent pyoverdin, the salicylate derivative pyochelin, and salicylic acid. This Pseudomonas strain was shown to be an efficient antagonist of Pythium-induced damping-off. The role of pyoverdin and pyochelin in the suppression of Pythium splendens was investigated by using various siderophore-deficient mutants derived from P. aeruginosa 7NSK2 in a bioassay with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). To provide more insight into the role of pyochelin in antagonism, mutant KMPCH, deficient in the production of pyoverdin and pyochelin, was complemented for pyochelin production. The complementing clone was further characterized by subcloning and transposon mutagenesis and used to generate a pyochelin-negative, pyoverdin-positive mutant by marker exchange. All mutants were able to reduce Pythium-induced preemergence damping-off to some extent. Production of either pyoverdin or pyochelin proved to be necessary to achieve wild-type levels of protection against Pythium-induced postemergence damping-off. Mutant KMPCH inhibited P. splendens but was less active than the parental strain. This residual protection could be due to the production of salicylic acid. Since pyoverdin and pyochelin are both siderophores, siderophore-mediated iron competition could explain the observed antagonism and the apparent interchangeability of the two compounds. We cannot, however, exclude the possibility that both siderophores act in an indirect way.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume62
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)865-71
Number of pages7
ISSN0099-2240
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ID: 450297