Exploring the Pathogenocity of Pseudomonas brassicearum Q8r1-96 and Other Strains of the Pseudomonas fluorescens Complex On Tomato

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Biological Sciences


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


Pseudomonas brassicacearum and related species of the P. fluorescens complex have long been studied as biocontrol and growth-promoting rhizobacteria involved in suppression of soilborne pathogens. We report here that P. brassicacearum Q8r1-96 and other 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG)-producing fluorescent pseudomonads involved in take-all decline of wheat in the Pacific Northwest of the United States can also be pathogenic to other plant hosts. Strain Q8r1-96 caused necrosis when injected into tomato stems and immature tomato fruits, either attached or removed from the plant, but lesion development was dose dependent, with a minimum of 106 CFU ml−1 required to cause visible tissue damage. We explored the relative contribution of several known plant-microbe interaction traits to the pathogenicity of strain Q8r1-96. Type III secretion system (T3SS) mutants of Q8r1-96, injected at a concentration of 108 CFU ml−1, were significantly less virulent, but not consistently, as compared with the wild-type strain. However, a DAPG-deficient phlD mutant of Q8r1-96 was significantly and consistently less virulent as compared with the wild type. Strain Q8r1-96acc, engineered to over express ACC deaminase, caused a similar amount of necrosis as the wild type. Cell-free culture filtrates of strain Q8r1-96 and pure DAPG also cause necrosis in tomato fruits. Our results suggest that DAPG plays a significant role in the ability of Q8r1-96 to cause necrosis of tomato tissue, but other factors also contribute to the pathogenic properties of this organism.

Publication Title

Plant Disease





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